20 Jan 2021

January 20, 2021


      Awesome sunrise Tuesday am. 0 Deg C with a 20-45 KPH S wind at 1835 m. -2 in the valley.

     Strong upper flow most of the day.

     Broken to the blue in the am.

      Looking West Tuesday mid morning.

     Wind blown smooth surface skiing Tuesday am. Just stay on piste and avoid cornice control debris.

      Strong winds around noon, 30-70 KPH SE winds at 1835 meters.

      Serious wind transport to the South. 100-120 KPH winds in the upper elevations.

     Tuesday 14:00 Hrs. -2 with a 40-70 KPH SSW wind. +3 in the valley.

      There were some breaks in the afternoon.

      Sastrugi formation.

      Some very light flurries around 15:00 Hrs.

     Tuesday 17:00 Hrs. -4 with a 20-35 KPH SSW wind. +2 in the valley.

Weather Observations for January 20, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -8, Winds were 25-35 KPH SSW--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -9, Winds were 25-30 KPH WNW--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -6, Winds were 10-20 KPH S --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -7, Winds were   5-10 KPH W--Round House
1650 meters      -7, 0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 222cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -6, 0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 153 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters      -1, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +3.9, 0.0 mm of precip yesterday.

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


A weak dirty surface ridge will bring dry cloudy conditions for today in a North Westerly flow aloft. The freezing level might get up to 800 meters today but back down to surface tonight. Unsettled Thursday morning with sunny skies by Thursday afternoon as the ridge strengthens. Sunny day for Friday as well. Ridge begins to shift on Saturday with sunny skies in the morning, cloud building slowly during the day as a weak front brings light precip by Saturday night into Sunday.                                                Guesstimates: 0 cm by Thursday am, 0 cm by Friday am, 0 cm by Saturday am.   

      GOES IR image from this am.

      Weak dirty surface ridge with overcast skies and cooler temps for today.

      Ridge slowly strengthens on Thursday with sunny skies by the afternoon.

       Ridge continues to dominate with cooler air in the mix for Friday..


      Deadly few days in Switzerland. 8 avalanche deaths.

      Old fracture line from Jan 13, 2021. Will log pictures over time as the FX line disappears.

      Image from Jan 19. From slide on the 13Th on Cowboy Ridge. We need snow!! Kevin Titus Pic

     Fridge size debris from that event.                                                                        Kevin Titus Pic

     Old fracture line from January 9, 2021. 

      Cornice debris in Glacier Bowl. No new avalanches observed on Whistler yesterday.

      Debris in Blackcomb Bowl as well.

     Stress fractures on Whiplash. No new avalanches observed on Blackcomb yesterday.

From Sea to Sky Avalanche Advisory:

Avalanche Summary

A few small wind slab and wet loose avalanches were reported on Sunday and Monday. Explosive control targeting cornices on Friday and Saturday produced size 2 results, some triggering deep slabs on the rocky slopes below. 

There has been significant deep persistent slab activity this month. During a widespread avalanche cycle last week, several storm slabs stepped down to deeper weak layers resulting in very large (size 3-4) deep persistent slab avalanches (see these photos from Panorama Ridge). On Jan 9, 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. See this MIN for photos and more information. A similar avalanche was remotely triggered by skiers on a nearby westerly slope a few days before (see this MIN).

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. A widespread surface crust exists below 1900 m and on south-facing slopes.

Remnants of a melt-freeze crust from early December may be found around 200 cm deep in the snowpack. Several large natural and human triggered avalanches failed on this layer earlier this month. Recent reports and snow profiles suggest that it is decomposing and/or bonding to surrounding snow and trending dormant... for now at least.


      Looking North Tuesday morning.

     Looking South.

      224 cm base at Pig Alley as of Tuesday 14:00 Hrs.

      Depending on aspect and elevation the Jan 12 crust is breaking down around treeline.

     Strong winds were creating Orographic Lift. From blowing snow to cloud formation.

      Serious amount of transport in the afternoon. Experienced Anabatic and Katabatic winds yesterday.

      Snow transport Tuesday afternoon.

     Wind blown smooth chalky snow in gullies.

      Snowing to the North at the end of the day.


Blowing Down: Jan 19, 2021


Avalanche on Corviglia: Switzerland

Powder Picker Jan 19, 2021: David Jones

Avalanche hits resort: Russia


Avalanches reported near Klondike Highway: Alaska

Search continues after avalanche hits Ski Resort in Southern: Russia

90 % of avalanches are caused by a human factor: Pierre Mathey

 Ski Patrollers campaign for contract amid impasse with Vail Resorts: Stevens Pass

Is the pandemic to blame for Switzerland's spate of avalanche deaths: TheLocal

Negligence case initiated after avalanche death in Dombai: Russia

Understanding the risks before you hit the slopes this winter: New Hampshire

                       Marker Goggles for best avalanche picture Jan 19- Jan 31, 2021.

      Sponsored by Volkl Canada.

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