9 May 2014

May 9, 2014

    Clouds moved into our area quickly Thursday morning.

    Cumulus clouds were building early Thursday morning.

    Clouds began to build by mid morning.

    Fresh cornice fall Thursday morning out of Teetering Rock Area. Be careful in the flat light. 

    Snow began to fall around 13:30 hours yesterday, above 1700 meters. .

Weather observations for May 9, 2014; taken at 06:00 Hrs.

2240 meters      -4, Winds were 20-30 KPH from the S
1860 meters      -2, Winds were 10-25 KPH  from the SSE
1550 meters       0, 1 cm of new snow, Base 169 cm, 2.4 mm in the precip gauge
  660 meters     +6, Valley temperature, Trace of precip yesterday, Max temp Yest +15.4

For the Forecast, an upper level low will slowly move East, unstable onshore Southwest flow will keep showers in the area until early tomorrow morning. A drier Northerly flow aloft will bring drier conditions to our zone Saturday morning as the upper ridge builds into our area. The ridge will strengthen for Sunday giving us a nice warm day for Mother's Day. The ridge will influence  the area until Thursday, unsettled for Monday with clouds, sun, and the slight chance of a shower later in the day. Tuesday will also be unsettled as the low to the north allows cloud into the area as well as convective cloud development with the chance of rain showers during the day and light rain in the evening. Wednesday is looking wet in the morning slightly drying out in the afternoon. More on this time period as we get closer, will depend on the final position of the high and low which are forecasted to be mingling over our zone. Guesstimates 3-5 cm above the FL today which may drop to 1500 meters. Freezing levels will rise from a high of 2200 meters tomorrow to 3000 meters by Tuesday.

   As of 06:20 hrs in the alpine we have overcast skies, variable visibility and snowing lightly. 

    Bands of precipitation expected this morning.

    The ridge will influence our area for mid week but the low is close by.

    Noon yesterday, clouds thickening up!

    Brunt of the moisture moving south of our zone.

Video Friday's: 

Candide Thovex & friends Going off in France:  The faction collective

Hemlock Strikes Back: Sharper chain, more revs?!!

Snow Shovel Snafu: Roof Avalanche

El Nino-What are the odds: Climate Denial Crock of the week

How low can you go on a mountain bike: The ultimate corner

Next level of aerial filming: Autonamus Drone

Rock Skiing: Sylvain Saudan


Two ski mountaineers killed by Savoie avalanches: France

BC SAR summaries for April 28-May 4, 2014: Emergency Management BC

Farewell for the season: CAC forecasters Blog

Aeros Backcountry ski helmet: Avalanche Safety Product

Aeros Helmet: Conceptual Design

Mom's Ski free at Sunshine: Mother's Day

Greenland melting due equally to global warming-natural variations: Science Daily

An observation from Conny Amelunxen:

Hi Wayne,

Not sure if you are collecting info like this but you blog appears to be the only snow info exchange at this time of the year.

I don't know when it happened but the eastern 1/4 of the N face of Serratus has slid. It looks to be well over a meter deep but it wasn't clear enough to see if it went on glacier ice or firn. It was a 35-45 degree unsupported slope, the slide was small size 3.


Thanks to Jeff Van Driel for this report and accompanying photos:

I spent the last three days (May 5-7) with a guest on the spearhead traverse in Whistler.

We travelled primarily in the alpine from 2100m to 2700m, finishing the trip at 1000m. We experienced temperatures ranging from -6 to 2 degrees, light nw winds and isolated precipitation amounting to a trace of new snow. The last two days were characterised by clear skies with valley fog that broke up during the morning hours and afternoon cumulus cloud formation and associated isolated precipitation. We found that we had a good overnight freeze allowing for generally predictable melt/freeze conditions.

We noted two new avalanches to size 2, one on the 9th Hole on Decker on Monday that came down near the regular uptrack, north aspect, limited visibility, and one slab avalanche from a distance on Wednesday at 2100m on a steep, rocky south aspect on Tremor. Otherwise, just snowballing and pinwheeling on solar aspects in the afternoons.

Snow conditions were variable depending on aspect. True north aspects in the high alpine held 5-15cm of cold, dry snow, sitting on a well settled snowpack. Steep solar aspects had a supportive crust in the mornings that broke down quickly producing moist snow down to 60cm. All other aspects had supportive crust until around noon, and then provided quality corn skiing conditions all the way down to 1000m.

Of note, the glaciers had over 320cm, but were more broken than I've seen in previous seasons, yet still easily negotiable. Surprisingly, ski crampons were not needed.

Jeff Van Driel

    Road plowing to the roundhouse is completed. Heading to the Peak next!

    Great skiing yesterday until the precipitation and bad visibility moved in.

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