19 Dec 2012

A group from the Whistler CAA Level 2 course above the Surfs Up Entrance.

As of 06:00 this morning the temperature at 2260 meters was -13, winds were 45-70 KPH from the SSE. At 1650 meters the temperature was -7, 6 cm of new snow was recorded there. In the valley it is -4. So far this  December we have had 219 cm of snow recorded at Pig Alley, in the past ten years 2001 had the most snow in December, 377 cm.  Still time to break that record!!

Dress warm again today, at the peak with -13 and 60 KPH winds the wind chill is -27.

Soft slabs were releasing on Steep start zones yesterday. Reports of up to size 1.5 naturals in the Duffy area on north aspects. Xe size 1.5 in the ski areas. (.20-.30 crowns)

Eventually the sun did come out for brief moments yesterday with  some great  stellars in the air.

Looking dark on the Whistler Side!

For the forecast we can expect a real west coast storm with high winds and heavy precipitation. May be difficult getting around in the alpine today. The pacific frontal system will leave in its wake an unsettled and moist air mass for Thursday and Friday as the offshore upper low remains stationary. Expect light snow fall amounts for Friday and Saturday. Guesstamites Today 15-20 Tonight 15-20 Thursday 10-12
Friday 2-4.
 As usual most of the precip will be south of us adding to the already large base at Mt Baker.(408 cm)

For the updated avalanche advisory : Local Advisory

Snow storms to the south of us, really south: Mid West snow storms

Avalanche Involvement at Crystal Mountain Yesterday: Probed

Austrian Ambulances, from UnofficialNetworks: No swipe no transport

Coquihalla Highway reopens after storm: Dec 18, 2012

Stranded snowboarder found: North Shore Mountains

Plate stellars almost look like surface hoar from a distance. Some information on plate STELLARS

Thanks to Jeff Van Driel for these observations taken yesterday in the Spearhead.

Out in the Spearhead Range today Dec 18.  There is good skiing to be found on protected slopes.  Ski penetration averaged 20-30 cm and foot pen. was 50-60 cm.  We found windslab in specific features at a variety of elevations.  This sits on a layer of preserved stellars 2mm with a 1F+ bedsurface of decomposed stellars 1mm. The slab ranges from soft slab to hard slab, 20-40cm thick and we got a CTM (12) rp at this interface on a N aspect at 2050m.  I buried my 320cm probe at this location without hitting bottom, but crevasses are still gaping.  We also observed a natural avalanche cycle on slopes facing NW-NE that happened in the last 24-48 hrs up to size 1.5 on specific steep, lee terrain features; most of which had been reloaded. Temperatures ranged from -6 to -10 snowing less than 1 cm/hr.  I hope everyone is taking advantage of the nice, cold weather!

Jeff Van Driel