24 Mar 2013

Flurries were happening yesterday through out the valley.

Steep rocky terrain with a shallow snowpack has some significant loose dry crystal development.

At 2240 meters the temperature was -12, winds were 5-15 KPH from the ESE. At 1650 meters the temperature was -10, no new snow recorded there over night. In the valley it was -6. Observations taken at 06:00 Hrs this am.

For the forecast more unsettled weather can be expected as a dirty upper ridge dominates our area. High and medium elevation clouds will develop today.  We may get some light snow on Tuesday. A warm front may approach next week bringing the freezing level to possibly 1800 meters with some precip for Thursday. No significant storm systems expected for the next week as a split flow dominates the coast.

For the local updated avalanche advisory: Blackcomb Snow Safety

Mountain passes continue to get slammed by snow: Washington State

Sharing Lessons: Avalanche awareness nonprofit born from tragedy: Colorado

Kashmir ski trip comes with risks: India

Avalanche kills hiker in Switzerland: March 21, 2013

Many avalanches in the French Alps this past week: Update

Off Piste skier triggers avalanche in Meribel: March 20, 2013

Another avalanche release on the Dominator, steep rocky terrain feature!!!

Mixture of some fresh plate stellar's that fell yesterday and surface hoar.

Another day with lots of cumulus clouds.

Sun flurries in 7 Th heaven.

Cornice debris in Glacier bowl. Both mountains have been doing cornice control, there is a lot of debris in most of the bowls. Be aware if the light becomes flat or visibility is limited.  Report of a  snowmobile triggerd cornice resulting in a large avalanche in the Ogre area in the past couple of days. For the amount of snow we have had this winter there are some very large cornices out there!!

A short story from Dominic Wrapson:

Morning, Wayne.

Would like to start by saying thanks for the excellent resource; I’ve become a habitual reader of your blog.

With the conditions seeming pretty unstable over the last week (reports of four slides involving friends in as many days), Thursday morning I decided to stay inbounds and lined up at Peak Chair like many hundreds of thousands of other people.  There was a lot of stiff wind-pack around on S/E slopes, which was to be expected given the overnight winds, but it was interspersed with some good pockets of deep snow so, hunting for more of the softer stuff, I was skiing the cliffy area down Bonsai ridge (Christmas Trees).  I’d noticed some cracking in the soft snow and small blocks sliding away from my skis of which I was wary but still confident, until I reached a steeper shelf where suddenly the whole thing pulled out under me.  Fortunately I was able to dig in at the top and saved going for a ride through some trees and over the edge.  Crown was around 30cm at its deepest and stretched about 20ft across, and looking at the pile-up and run-out at the foot of the drop certainly would’ve made a good attempt to at least partially buried me if I’d have gone with it.
Unfortunately that’s the only (very bad) photo I took with nothing of the run out; I’d not been having the best morning already, so once I’d negotiated myself off the remaining crust and was safely away I was more focused on getting home and putting my feet up than taking more photos (or going back around to wrestle endure 45 min lineup for more of the same).

Interesting too that you can see in the photo another skier had actually been through the area already (from above) with no reaction which goes to show just ‘cause it’s skied already doesn’t make it safe.