3 Jan 2018

January 3, 2018


    No new avalanche activity observed locally.

    An avalanche has killed a snowmobiler near West Yellowstone. Story in article section.  Net Pic


    Moon setting Tuesday morning.

    Nice colours early in the morning.

    Overcast for most of the day.

    A grey day.

    Dark sky near the end of the day with some isolated rain showers.

Weather Observations for January 3, 2018  taken at 06:00 Hours.

2180 meters    +1, Winds were 0-5 KPH NW--Whistler Peak
1835 meters    +1, Winds were 0-5 KPH NE--Roundhouse
1660 meters     -1, 0 cm of new, 0 cm in 24 hrs  Base 180 cm --Pig Alley
  660 meters   -10, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was -4.8, 0.0 mm of precip recorded yest

  As of 07:00 hrs we have clear skies and unlimited visibility. Some scattered high cloud in the distance.


High pressure aloft will strengthen today with mostly sunny skies in a low level offshore flow. We can expect warm temperatures today with the freezing level maxing out at around 2400 meters. Will likely see some cloud development later today. A weak front will move in from the southwest Thursday morning with overcast conditions and light precipitation. The FL will slowly drop to 1700 meters by Thursday night. A more vigorous warm front moves in for Friday with moderate precipitation and the FL hovering in the 2000 meter range. A series of fronts will push through into Monday with light precipitation and the FL should begin to cooperate by Saturday into Sunday with some of the snow reaching the valley. More on that as we get closer.
Guesstimates: 1-3 mm by Friday morning (snow above 1500 m), 5-8 cm by Saturday morning above 1500 meters with 10-15 mm of rain as well, 4-8 cm by Sunday morning.

    Mostly a sunny day.

    Warm temperatures from the high.

    Looking like a nice day over Whistler.

    Frontal Bands.

    Clouds moving in for Thursday.


    Snow was still ok in the morning but warm temperatures in the alpine changed that.

    Warm moist snow on South aspects at tree line and above. Greenhouse affect under the cloud.

    Max temp at 2240 meters yesterday was + 2.6, at 1860 meters it was +6.6.

    Upper level cloud eventually dropped onto the higher peaks.

    Yesterday afternoon.

    Big picture yesterday.

From South Coast Touring:

Tobias C. Van Veen
January 2 at 1:42pm

Thought I’d mention we saw a fresh size 2 natural off the lower Decker / Trorey ridge at treeline yesterday, sun exposed & S/SW facing. Crown line looked to be 50cm+ with shears exposing rock.

Ryan MacDonald
January 2 at 9:43am
We witnessed a size 3-4 release on the east side of Phelix Creek yesterday, around 2:30pm. It's pretty reactive above the tree line up there.

Mitchell Sulkers
January 3 at 5:53am
Significant greenhousing occurring on Tuesday in the Spearhead Range. Snow surfaces were moist to 2400m on southern aspects and on all aspects from 2100m down. True polar aspects still skiing well at higher elevations. No pinwheeling or loose wet observed from 2100m up, but some pinwheeling and very moist snow over colder loose snow below. This made for tricky skinning. If today's forecast comes through with sunshine and highs to 7C in the area, stability can be expected to decrease, especially on solar aspects. 
We found no significant sheers in the recent storm snow or above the 171215 melt-freeze crust, however some of the resistant layers in the recent storm snow could be activated by direct sunlight if surfaces go wet

Recent reports from Avalanche Canada MIN network:

Hanging Lake


A snowmobiler has been killed in an avalanche near West Yellowstone: Montana

Report on above avalanche from Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center: GNFAC

Lack of mountain snow creates more avalanche danger: Utah

Avalanche buried skier rescued by partner: Panorama

CAIC recieved 132 avalanche reports over past week: Colorado

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