14 Feb 2021

February 14, 2021

     YESTERDAY:

     Saturday sunrise was at 07:26 Hrs. -12 with a 5-15 KPH South wind.

      Snowing lightly in the valley Saturday am.


      Snowing in the alpine Saturday morning as well.

     Wind effect on Blackcomb Glacier.


     Visibility improved at around noon.

      Mount Currie Saturday afternoon.

     Awesome skiing in the man made snow.

     Saturday Feb 13, 2021. 16:00 Hrs. -13 with a 5-10 East breeze. -6 in the valley.


Weather Observations for February 14, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters    -12, Winds were 20-25 KPH SE--Horstman Hut
2180 meters    -13, Winds were 15-20 KPH SSW--Whistler Peak
1860 meters    -13, Winds were   5-15 KPH NNW --Rendezvous 
1835 meters    -13, Winds were   5-10 KPH E--Round House
1650 meters    -12,  1 cm in 12 Hrs, 5 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 240 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters    -11,  trace in 12 Hrs, 3 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 175 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters    -11, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +3.1, 1.5 mm of precip yesterday.


     As of 07:00 Hrs this am we have overcast skies, variable visibility.


FORECAST:

Overcast today with periods of light snow in a Westerly flow aloft. The FL will rise to surface today and will likely go up to 1000 m by Monday afternoon. A warm front with trailing cold front will bring further periods of light snow on Monday. May see a few sunny breaks later Monday afternoon as we go into a drying trend. Ridge builds for Tuesday with some cloud and sunny skies for Tuesday afternoon. Groundhog day Wednesday with more sun and cool temperatures. A few weak fronts for later in the week with a more significant front arriving on Sunday with the possibility of 20-30 cm. Fingers crossed. Guesstimates: 2-5 cm by Monday am, trace to 2 cm by Tuesday am, 0-trace by Wednesday am.


      GOES IR image from this am.

      Low will send light snow our way today. Still cold but warming up.





     Westerly flow aloft.

      Weak warm front with trailing cold front Monday, light snow with a rising FL.





       Pacific high begins to push in for Tuesday.


     AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:

     Poop Chutes where three people were caught in an avalanche Friday afternoon.

     Toe of the debris where one person was extricated with significant injuries.

      Size 3 avalanche which killed one injured another backcountry skier in the Poop Chutes.

      The other avalanche from Friday which injured a skier. Stiff slab. Pulled him through the rocks. 

     Hard to see in flat light but the person was pulled through the moraine feature centre of image.

      Fracture line in Lakeside from Heli bombing mission Friday am.

      Debris from a recent avalanche that came out of S Turn.

      Point releases from Saturday.



      The past 5 days have seen significant wind transport creating soft and stiff wind slabs.


      Limited avalanche mitigation on Whistler yesterday am, a few Sz 1 slabs on S-W aspects. Xe Sc.



AVALANCHE SUMMARY FOR SEA TO SKY AREA: 

Avalanche Summary

We have preliminary information about another avalanche involvement in the Brandywine Mountain area on Saturday. We will update this summary once we have more details.

On Friday, a very large (size 3), fatal avalanche was triggered by skiers at 2200 metres on a west-facing slope on Phalanx Mountain. The avalanche is described as a wind slab that formed to the lee of recent strong east winds. Three people were involved in the avalanche and one person was killed. A second, smaller (size 1.5) wind slab was triggered by skiers on a nearby slope, again causing injury to the person involved.

A bout of strong northerly winds on Thursday caused conditions in the region to change rapidly, with new and touchy wind slabs forming in unusual places. Numerous natural releases from size 1 to size 2 were observed in the Whistler area above about 1900 metres. 

Two more skiers were involved in an avalanche in the Supercouloir feature of Mamquam Mountain on Thursday. This avalanche was a natural wind slab release ands again resulted in serious injuries and an urgent evacuation by helicopter.

Snowpack Summary

Light forecast snow amounts will feed into existing wind slab problems brought on by powerful east and northeast winds that have been redistributing loose snow into reactive wind slabs. Winds are forecast to shift again to the southwest, expanding problems to all aspects.

Forecast snow will otherwise add to around 15 cm of older low density snow (think weak, faceted snow) in shaded, sheltered areas and more widespread wind-affected snow (also progressively faceting in recent days). On solar aspects, a thin recent sun crust may be found on or right near the surface or beneath recently wind transported snow, potentially contributing to the reactivity of slabs recently formed on sun-exposed aspects.

Below the evolving surface, 50-100 cm of settled storm snow sits on a persistent weak layer from late January that consists of facets at upper elevations, surface hoar in sheltered areas, a melt-freeze crust below 1900 m, and a sun crust on south-facing slopes. There could be more than 100 cm on this layer in wind loaded areas. Although this structure is suspect, we have no recent reports of avalanches failing at this interface within the region.

A crust from early December, currently considered dormant, may be found around 200+ cm deep in the snowpack.



      INFORMATION & OBSERVATIONS:

      Showcase T Bar did not open on Saturday.


      Always pay attention to the signage.

     Always nice snow somewhere.

      There was even some nice dry loose snow to be had.

     Perfect stellars were falling on Saturday. Made for some great turns.


RECENT MIN REPORTS FROM SEA TO SKY: 

Spooky at a distance: Mountain Conditions Report

Matier NW Face: Feb 12, 2021

Cassiope: Feb 13, 2021

Waterspite: Feb 13, 2021

Frigga's Throne: Feb 13, 2021

Vantage Ridge: Feb 13, 2021

Million Dollar Couloir/Cayoosh: Feb 13, 2021

Gin: Feb 13, 2021

Round Mountain: Feb 13, 2021


VIDEOS:

Powder Picker Feb 13, 2021: David Jones


ARTICLES:

Snowboarder dies in 2nd Fatal avalanche near Whistler: CTV News

Skier killed, others injured in 'High Risk' avalanches this week: Whistler

Search-and-rescue teams warn of hazardous conditions: Family Day Weekend

Managing Moderate: Avalanche Canada

An avalanche has killed a ski tourer on Mount Giovo: Italy

Pair of avalanches kill 3 mountain climbers: Slovenia

Lots of useful information for backcountry users: Adventure Smart B.C.


        Submit your best avalanche photo for a pair of  Goggles Feb 1-28, 2021. Sea to Sky Area.

                                                    Thanks to Volkl Canada for sponsoring. 

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