3 Jan 2021

January 3, 2021


      A little wet Saturday morning. +3 Deg C.

      Many wet keen folks on Saturday during the weather bomb. 

      Snow line was at about 800 meters Saturday am.

      Dumping at 1400 meters first lift up.

      09:30 Hrs. 50-80 KPH SE wind. Max gust was at 13:15 Hrs at 96.7 KPH South.

     Snowing hard Saturday am. 

     Alpine was getting hammered!!! It was a short day for me!!!

      Saturday Jan 2, 2021.  14:00 Hrs. -3 with a 30-65 KPH South wind. +2 in the valley.

      Satellite image from same timeframe. 

        Saturday afternoon.

     16:30 Hrs. -2 with a 20-65 KPH East wind. The FL maxed out at around 1300 meters.

Thanks to all who have hit the donate button. Much appreciated, it's a Labour of Love.

Still takes up way to much Time.

Weather Observations for January 3, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -9, Winds were 45-55 KPH NNE--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -8, Winds were 40-50 KPH S--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -7, Winds were 15-30 KPH S --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -6, Winds were 15-30 KPH S--Round House
1650 meters      -5, 19 cm in 12 Hrs, 50 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 235 cm --Pig Alley
1560 meters      -5, 13 cm in 12 Hrs, 42 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 156 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters     +1, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +3.6, 26.4 mm of precip yesterday.

     As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have overcast skies and unlimited visibility. Snowing very lightly.


A weak shortwave trough will bring periods of light precip this morning in a Westerly flow aloft. The FL will hover around 800-1000 meters dropping to surface tonight. The precip will taper off later this afternoon/evening with dry conditions until the next front arrives around midnight with light to moderate precip into Monday in a South Westerly flow aloft. The FL will likely bump back up to around 1000-1300 meters with a drying period sometime around noon on Monday with some lingering flurries. Yet another frontal band arrives early Tuesday morning with light precip ramping up by the afternoon with moderate precip and strong winds. This front will continue into early Wednesday morning tapering off later in the am, drying out into Thursday. Guesstimates: 18-22 cm by Monday morning at 06:00 Hrs, 8-14 cm by Tuesday am, 30-40 cm by Wednesday am, 1-4 cm by Thursday am. 

      GOES IR image from this am.

         Short wave trough for today with some light precip this am, a pm break then more precip.

      Weak frontal band for Monday with unsettled weather by the afternoon.

      Broad scale cyclonic flow sending moisture our way, warmish picking up from the warm high.


     Contest for who can send me the best avalanche shot from now to January 17, 2021, Sea to Sky.

Marker Goggles, Case and extra lens. Thanks to Volkl Canada.

      Limited control work on Saturday. Sz 1-1.5 Xe Sc. 30-70 cm slabs. Na Sz 1 wet loose observed.

From Sea to Sky Advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Avalanches are expected to be large and widespread on Sunday, storm slabs as well as persistent slab avalanches.

Numerous storm slab avalanches, natural and explosive triggered size 1-4 (!) were reported on Saturday. This MIN report from Friday illustrates the active avalanche conditions during this storm.

Several large persistent slab avalanches have been reported over the previous week:

There was a fatal avalanche in the South Coast Inland region (near the Sea to Sky boundary) north of Pemberton in the Railroad Pass area on Monday that resulted in two fatalities. It was reported to be a size 2 persistent slab avalanche on a west aspect, around 1650 m. The RCMP press release can be viewed here, and the Avalanche Canada report can be found here.  

A size 2.5 avalanche was triggered on Monday by a skier on Rainbow Mountain, which resulted in a full burial and, thankfully, a successful rescue. The avalanche failed on a 60 cm deep crust and facet layer on a northeast aspect around 1800 m. 

A natural size 3 persistent slab avalanche was reported on Mount MacBeth on Monday, check out this MIN report for details of this observation.

These avalanches highlight the ongoing potential to trigger persistent weak layers in the snowpack. 

Snowpack Summary

There may be as much as 20-50 cm of new snow between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, forming widespread storm slabs. This brings recent storm totals to well over 100 cm.

The snowpack is currently quite complex. The layer of greatest concern is a melt-freeze crust from early December, found around 100-200 cm deep in the snowpack. This crust may have surface hoar or sugary faceted grains sitting above it. There have been several recent large natural and human triggered avalanches on this layer. 


      The many layers of the snowpack.

      Todays load may get some motion from this roof!

      Nice to experience a real coastal winter storm. Max gust yest at 2240 meters was 179.3 KPH ESE

     Welcome La Nina! If only it were a bit colder!!!

      Slippery surface after the snowline in the rain.

      By 14:00 Hrs on Saturday we had 29 cm at Catskinner. Pig Alley 35 cm with a 235 cm base.

      330 cm Base at the Journeyman Lodge weather plot. Difficult wading to get there. Brad Sills Pic


Red Heather Hut: Jan 2, 2021


Snow Immersion Suffocation and Tree Wells: SIS

Remote triggering of slab avalanches: CAIC


B.C. in "bullseye" of major winter storm causing ski resort closures & high avalanche risk: North Shore

Delicate avalanche situation for Backcountry Skiers--Great constraint called for: Austria

Backcountry Avalanche Forecast: Northwest Avalanche Centre

'Your life is not worth that day of Powder Skiing"--Officials warn of Severe Avalanche Risk: CTV News

WANTED any transceiver either working or not:

$150 reward for trading in on a new Arva Neo Pro at $499
$100 reward for trading in any transceiver in on an Evo 4 at $329 or Evo 5 at $385

Mike Dempsey
Your representative in Canada and the United States for ATMRECYCYCLINGSYSTEMS.COM and VORTEXDEPOLLUTION.COM in Canada

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