18 Feb 2021

February 18, 2021

     YESTERDAY:

     Sunrise was at 07:19 Hrs Wednesday. 

     Nice to see the sun on Wednesday.


      Time for a reset.


      Peak to Valley Race track was groomed and in amazing shape.

      Cold North wind in the am.

      Always good snow somewhere.



     The cord was nice as well.

      Clouds slowly moved in by the afternoon.

      Another awesome day.



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

2240 meters    -10, Winds were 30-45 KPH SE--Horstman Hut
2180 meters    -11, Winds were 40-50 KPH S--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -7, Winds were 10-15 KPH S --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -7, Winds were 15-25 KPH E--Round House
1650 meters      -8,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 238 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -7,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 174 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters      -5, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +5.3, 0.0 mm of precip yesterday.



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


FORECAST:

A cold front will bring light snow in a Westerly flow aloft today.The FL could go as high as 900 meters dropping back down to the surface tonight. A series of fronts will push through over the next week with an atmospheric river event scheduled for Sunday. The FL on Sunday will hopefully stay below 1500 meters. Guesstimates: 5-10 cm by Friday morning, 4-8 cm by Saturday am, 10-15 cm by Sunday am, 30-40 cm by Monday am.


     GOES IR image from this am.


      Low sending a cold front for today with light snow, seasonal temps. 






      Westerly flow aloft.

      More snow for Friday. Cool temps.






      Groundhog day Saturday.




      AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:

     An avalanche has killed a snowmobiler near Ruby Mountain, CO. Article below.        CAIC Pic

      An avalanche has killed 4 people on Khardung La Pass in Kashmir. Article below.         Net Pic

    Sr Sz 1.5 6 skiers traversing from Cham Chute exit to Circle Lake on Wednesday. Steve Whittall Pic

      From SCT Sa ? above Circle Lake from Wednesday.                                     Jeremy Postal Image


      Different perspective of the Sa above Cloud 9 from Monday.

      Point releases in Emerald Bowl.

      Cornice debris in Whistler Bowl.

      Old fracture line on Whistler.



From the Sea to Sky Avalanche Bulletin: 

Avalanche Summary

On Tuesday, sluffing and thin soft slabs were reactive to skiers on north and east aspects, and pinwheeling and loose-dry avalanches were observed in steep and solar features.

On Monday. A size 2 persistent avalanche was triggered by a skier on the west side of Blackcomb Peak, the crown ranged from 5-90 cm and failed on facets. A size 1.5 windslab was remote triggered on the northwest face of Oboe. Additionally, numerous dry-loose avalanches were observed up to size 2, many running far and entraining large amounts of snow. Wet-loose avalanches failed naturally and were reactive to skiers Monday afternoon.

Sunday was a much quieter day for avalanche activity. Avalanche control work produced very small avalanches with the exception being a single size 2.

A fatal avalanche occurred in the region on Saturday in the Brandywine valley. The person caught was carried several hundred meters over steep, rugged terrain and through treed slopes below. The avalanche is described as a size 1 (small) wind slab on a southwest aspect at 1700 m. The incident report can be seen here.

On Friday, a large (size 2.5), fatal avalanche was triggered by skiers at 2200 m 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. Two people out of a group of three were involved in the avalanche and one person was killed. The incident report can be seen here. 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 last 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 m on and since last Thursday. 

Snowpack Summary

A dusting of flurries adds to 10-30 cm loose snow over a variety of wind affected surfaces and facets in the alpine and into treeline. Isolated windslabs remain reactive from recent outflow winds. Fresh southerly winds are impacting loose snow, forming thin new windslabs and hiding older, stiffer slabs.

Below 1800m and on solar features at higher elevations, a thin melt-freeze crust is under the new flurries.

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:

     There were some good turns to be had Wednesday.

      Still making snow on Wishbone.

     The snow is still light and cold.

     Older tracks in She's Tight.



      Some great light Wednesday morning.

     Another busy day in the backcountry.

     Airtime on the Dominator. Kind of sketchy with the sluff potential.

     Track beside Dean's Adieu.

      Surface Hoar was growing.

      Groomed access to Whistler Bowl.                                                                      Margy Krause Pic


     Moon was bright Wednesday evening.


FROM SEA TO SKY MIN REPORTS:

Round Mountain: Feb 17, 2021

Tricouni: Feb 17, 2021



VIDEOS:

Wind Slabs: Avy Savvy

Whistler Powder Picker, Feb 17, 2021: David Jones


ARTICLES:

4 dead, 6 trapped in an avalanche at Khardung La Pass: Kashmir

Snowmobiler found dead after avalanche near Ruby Mountain: Colorado

Ruby Mountain Avalanche details: CAIC

Extreme avalanche danger issued for Salt Lake Mountains: Utah


       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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