21 Dec 2016

December 21, 2016

    Winter solstice was at 02:44 Hrs this am. Today is 8 Hrs 4 min shorter than the summer solstice.


    Three people involved in an avalance in Kanaskis Country, story in articles below --  Net Pic

    Skier Triggered avalanche on Mount Emmons, Colorado, story in articles below-Ben Pritchett Pic

Locally, Sc (ski cut) produced isolated pockets of Sz 1 windslab in the am. Lots of cracking but       minimal propagation. Stiff slab development during the day, 10-20 cm.


    Man made light in the trees early Tuesday morning December 20, 2016.

    A few breaks in the morning.

    Flurries to the valley most of the morning/early afternoon. 4 cm at 1650 meters yesterday.

    Fitzsimmons Creek

    Clearing at around 15:30 Hours.

    Image from Tuesday morning.


Weather Observations for December 21, 2016,: taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters     -9, Winds were 40-55 KPH S      --Horstman Hut 
2180 meters     -9, Winds were 55-65 KPH SSW--Whistler Peak
1860 meters     -7, Winds were 20-50 KPH S      --Rendevous
1835 meters     -6, Winds were 25-55 KPH SSW--Roundhouse
1650 meters     -5, Trace of new snow, 4 cm in 24 hrs, 170 cm Base, RH 90%  --Pig Alley
1550 meters     -5, Trace of new snow, 2 cm in 24 hrs, 118 cm Base, RH 85%  --Catskinner 
  660 meters      0, Valley Temp, Max Temp Yesterday was +1.2, 3.3 mm of Precip recorded yest

    As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have broken cloud and unlimited visibility.


A weak upper level ridge will bring unsettled weather to the area today in a Westerly Flow aloft .The FL should hover in the 800 meter range by this afternoon with light Southerly winds. A weakening cold front will bring light snowfall to the area for Thursday. A larger upper level trough will bring unsettled conditions to the area on Friday into Saturday, with a dry colder flow becoming Northwesterly. Christmas Day at this time is looking sunny. Guesstimates: 1 to 3 cm by Thursday, 8-12 cm by Friday morning.

    Low will send most of the moisture North.

    Clearing trend for today.

    Flow for Wednesday into Thursday.

    Weakening cold front for Thursday.



Three people rescued in Kananaskis Country after an avalanche involvement: Alberta

Colorado Backcountry skier triggers massive avalanche near Crested Butte: Mount Emmons

Some facts on the winter solstice: December 21, 2016

Snow Avalanche Hazard of the Krkonose National Park: Czech Republic

No charges to be filed in connection with Teton Pass Avalanche: Wyoming


    Thanks to Jeff for some great intel from Steep Creek.                                      Jeff Van Driel Image

Hi Wango,
Skied up in the Steep Creek area on the Duffey Lake Road with limited visibility today. Strong gusty WNW winds distributing 30cm of storm snow into very soft slab to wind slab in area observed. Upper snowpack is slightly upside down with variable density changes within the storm snow. The interface with last weeks variable surfaces is down 40-60cm. The mid and lower snowpack appear to be well consolidated. The November crust is down 80-140cm. 
Below Treeline snowpack depths taper to 75cm at 1250m on the highway and the new unconsolidated snow just hiding hazards below. It's still very 'early season' conditions at lower elevations. 
Profile site at the top of Path 56, NW aspect, 2000m, -5.5, Foot Penetration was 50cm. We found easy to moderate results in density changes within the storm snow. The most significant result was Compression Test Hard 23 Taps Sudden Planar down 60cm on the interface between the storm snow and last weeks variable surfaces. Here we found it reacting on mixed forms of rounding facets. 
Path 64.9 ran size 2 probably early this morning and terminated at least 300m above Duffey Lake Road and heard an avalanche at noon at Darkside lake. 
Enjoy the snow!



    The winter snow pack.

    Those are big tree bombs!!!

    Wind certainly moved a lot of snow around yesterday.

    Sunset Tuesday evening.

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