18 Jan 2021

January 18, 2021


     Mostly cloudy Sunday morning.

      Valley cloud.

      Lower elevation cloud was persistent most of the day.

     Nice snow in Lower Body Bag Bowl.

      Nice light later in the afternoon.

      Always good snow to be found if you know where it is!!

      DOA-Down Out & Around

      Observations in Ziggy's Meadow.

     Near the end of operating hours at WB.

Weather Observations for January 18, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -8, Winds were 35-50 KPH NNE--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -7, Winds were 20-30 KPH N--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -3, Winds were 20-30 KPH N --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -4, Winds were   5-10 KPH NNW--Round House
1650 meters      -6, 0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs,             Base 228 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -2, trace cm in 12 Hrs, trace cm in 24 Hrs, Base 166 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters      -2, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +3.0, 0.6 mm of precip yesterday.

     As of 07:00 Hrs we have clear skies and unlimited visibility.


High pressure building today in a North Westerly flow aloft. Sunny skies for today with some cloud moving into the area tonight. The FL could rise to around 1500 meters with some warm air aloft, dropping to around 1000 meters by tomorrow morning. Unsettled Tuesday with a mix of sun and cloud, a very weak brief disturbance in the afternoon will bring some flurries. Mostly cloudy on Wednesday as the high recedes South. Weak frontal band for Thursday with periods of light precip. Ridge rebuilds Friday. Guesstimates: 0 cm by Tuesday am, 1-2 cm by Wednesday am, trace-1 cm by Thursday am, 2-4 cm by Friday am.


     GOES IR image from this am.

      High pressure strengthens today with sunny skies.

      Unsettled Tuesday with a few flurries in the afternoon.

        High recedes, mostly cloudy for Wednesday.


     Two more avalanche deaths in Switzerland. Article below.                                              Net Pic

     Two ski tourer's die in an avalanche in Italy. Article below.                                                 Net Pic

      Many avalanches reported in Europe, articles below.                                                              Net Pic

     Old Fracture Lines on Cowboy Ridge.

      Wet loose later in the day Lakeside Bowl.

     Stress Fractures Whiplash. No new observations observed on Blackcomb. Some wet loose.

     Robertson's    Cornice control on Whistler Yesterday produced Sz 2.5 Xc Glacier Bowl.

From the Sea to Sky Advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Explosive control work targeting cornices on Friday and Saturday produced size 2 results, some triggering deep slabs in the rocky slopes below. 

A widespread natural avalanche cycle up to size 3 occurred throughout the region during a storm last week. Several initiated as storm slab and stepped down to deeper weak layers resulting in very large (size 3-4) persistent slab avalanches.

Over a week ago now, a large (size 3) avalanche was remotely triggered by skiers on Cowboy Ridge near Whistler. The avalanche occurred on a north to northwest aspect at around 1900 m. The crown was up to 200 cm deep and was approximately 200 m wide. Check out this MIN for photos and more information. A similar avalanche was remotely triggered by skiers on a nearby westerly slope a few days before; check out this MIN for more info and photos.

Snowpack Summary

Ski quality in the extensively wind affected alpine has been widely referred to as chalky. Soft snow may be found in sheltered areas around treeline and may overlie a spotty layer of surface hoar. A widespread surface crust exists below 1900 m.

The snowpack is currently quite complex. A layer of sugary faceted grains above a hard melt-freeze crust from early December may be found down 100 to 200 cm. Just over a week ago, several large natural and human-triggered avalanches on this layer occurred, with the hot spots being around the Whistler backcountry.

Near the base of the snowpack, there may be faceted grains above a crust from early-November, which was identified as the failure layer in sporadic avalanche releases. At this depth, avalanches are large and destructive.


     Be aware of where you are, aspect, elevation and natural signs of instability.

     Some aspects have a nasty crust on them.

      Into the clouds.

      So much wind over the past few weeks.

     Upper Chainsaw Ridge.

     Steeps are in better shape than you might think!!

     Still wind effect, almost every night.

     Valley cloud persisted through the day.

      There will be bumps by next Saturday on Lower Disease Ridge.

     Five 0

      Crevasse rescue training on Regulator.

     Nice snow in ID High.


Deep Digging: Jan 17, 2021

Shannon Basin: Jan 17, 2021

Decent: Jan 17, 2021


Powder Picker Jan 17, 2021: David Jones

Gate to the groin: Ouch


Skier missing in Vosges avalanche: France

Two Lombard Ski Tourer's die in an avalanche at Devero: Italy

Two more avalanche deaths: Switzerland

Avalanche hits ski tourers: Germany

Seven people caught in avalanches: Germany

Cold La Nina: Severe Weather Europe

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