4 Jan 2014

January 4, 2014

Size 1.5 avalanche yesterday above Circle lake.                  Petr Malyjurek Photo

Luckily no one was injured, some gear had to be found.  Braden Douglas Photo                                                                

Observations and photos from Jeff Van Driel from yesterday.  Avalanche out of Don't Swill 

Hiking up the Guides Notch prior to slide with an involvement about 1.5 hours later.

Obs from today in spearhead and phalanx.

Beautiful day in the alpine! 30 cm of new snow, scattered cloud, -7, and mod winds out of the NW in the pm.

We observed what I can only suspect were skier triggered on "don't swill" with large crevasses below to sz 1.5 with a 40 cm crown. Width limited to terrain constrictions. We also observed numerous natural avalanches that ran during the storm to sz 2.

We got some rapid settlements on sw aspects going from shallow to fatter snowpack that made us reassess our route.

We saw a variety of surfaces from 30 cm of powder to wind exposed that had hard, icy, crust.

Crevasses are starting to get covered by weak snow bridges which are only strong enough to disguise the hazard.

Also of note, we saw at least 15 people headed up to east col with no packs or obviously avalanche safety gear. Be careful out there having fun!

Picture from the air.  Rob Rainer Photo

Image from Jon Turner, will have more info from Jon in tomorrow's post.

Yesterday morning started out with some struts cloud in the valley and a bit of high cloud, dissipated by 11:00 Hrs.

Temperatures allowed for the snow guns to be turned on!!

Heli-bombing yesterday morning on Blackcomb produced some isolated size 1 avalanches on steep terrain.

This slide path is called Holly Cow just above the wind lip on Blackcomb Glacier.

Two other results, on the Stupid Traverse and Prime Rib.

Weather observations for January 4, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hrs:

2240 meters    -10, winds were 15-30 KPH from the N
2180 meters    -10, winds were 30-45 KPH from the N
1860 meters      -8, winds were 5-10 KPH from the E
1835 meters      -9, winds were 10-15 KPH from the
1650 meters      -9, no new snow, Base 114 cm
1550 meters      -7, no new snow, Base 80 cm
  660 meters      -7, Valley Temp

For the forecast the high pressure aloft will bring sunny skies and dry weather for the weekend.  The Northwest flow aloft continues to be the dominate force into Sunday. Its strength weakens for Monday bringing yet more unsettled weather.
A weak and disorganised front will arrive on Monday with more cloud in the area for Tuesday. As of now it looks like we will see light snow for Wednesday. Freezing levels will fluctuate quite a bit for today and tomorrow, rising later today then dropping tonight(surface-1200 meters) ; tomorrow the FL could go as high as 3000 meters with an inversion. This should change early next week with FL around 1000 meters.

Pulse Barryovox gets a good review: Outdoor Gear Lab

Montana Avalanche Victims body recovered by SAR under 5 feet of snow: Bozeman, Montana

TransCanada closure extended after Avalanche: Calgary Herald

Yesterday's Avalanche problem in the Flathead region of Montana: You Tube

The high pressure looked fairly strong on the satellite image.

Hopefully some of the moisture out there will reach us by Wednesday.

Early yesterday morning.

If it snows they will come!!

North wind picked up yesterday around 12:00

Surface hoar forming at 1800 meters.

Most of the popular backcountry runs were well used yesterday.

A great end to a well deserved pow day!

Alpine glow was incredible last night.

The end of another day.

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