19 Feb 2021

February 19, 2021


      Sunrise was at 07:17 Hrs Thursday. -10 with a 30-45 KPH East Wind.

     Light snow in the valley at 09:30 Hrs.

     Symphony chair did not open Yesterday.                                                                               GD Pic

      Visibility was challenging at times. Not many takers with the flat light.                         GD Pic

      Thursday Feb 18, 2021. 14:30 Hrs. -7 with a 15-30 KPH ESE wind.

     The airbag was being used.                                                                                         Greg Dixon Pic

     16:30 Hrs Thursday. -7 with a 10-20 SE wind.

Weather Observations for February 19, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters    -10, Winds were 45-60 KPH SE--Horstman Hut
2180 meters    -10, Winds were 45-55 KPH S--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -8, Winds were 15-40 KPH S --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -8, Winds were 20-45 KPH SE--Round House
1650 meters      -6, 10 cm in 12 Hrs, 15 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 248 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -6, ?10 cm in 12 Hrs, 15 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 185 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters       0, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was -1.2, 5.6 mm of precip yesterday.

      As of 07:00 Hrs we have broken cloud cover, unlimited visibility and snowing very lightly..


A weak upper level trough will bring periods of light snow and unsettled conditions in a Westerly flow aloft. The FL will hover near surface with the chance of going up to 800 meters. We may see some breaks today as well. The trough will weaken Saturday morning with a brief period of drier weather. The next warm front arrives for Saturday afternoon with periods of light/moderate snow, beginning of a wet, windy, and warmer period of stormy weather. By Sunday afternoon the FL nudges up to around 1500 meters. The front will begin to lose energy by late Monday  morning with warmer temps and periods of light precip. Drier and cooler for Tuesday. Guesstimates: 2-8 cm by Saturday am, 8-12 cm by Sunday am, 25-35 cm by Monday am, 1-4 cm by Tuesday am.

      GOES IR image from this am.

      Broad upper trough today with seasonal temps.

     Westerly flow aloft.

      Warm front for Saturday with the FL slowly going up.

      Warmer Sunday with windy wet weather. Westerly flow should help out with thr FL.


     Sc Sz 1 soft slabs on Whistler. A few Na Sz 1 soft slabs.

      No new avalanche activity observed on Blackcomb.

From the Sea to Sky Avalanche Advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Flurries and loose snow with fresh wind is encouraging new slabs to form.

On Wednesday skiers triggered size 1-1.5 wind slabs on southerly slopes with 20-40 cm crowns in the Whistler/Blackcomb backcountry. A handful of small (size 1) wet-loose avalanches were also reported.

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.

A bout of strong northerly winds last Thursday (Feb 11) caused conditions in the region to change rapidly, with new, touchy, and large wind slabs forming in unusual places. Hard, reactive were triggered by skiers resulting in a string of recent serious avalanche accidents. The wind slabs, which were most problematic on southeast, south and southwest facing slopes have decreased in reactivity through the week, however with another pulse of moisture this weekend, new loading could still stress the interface below old, stiff slabs.

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.

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

Snowpack Summary

Surface hoar growth was noted on Wednesday and Thursday morning following cool, clear nights. This could be quite a reactive weak layer with new snow, especially where it sits on a crust.

10-30 cm fresh flurries and loose snow sits over over a variety of wind affected surfaces and facets in the alpine and into treeline, and a crust on solar features. Isolated wind slabs from recent outflow winds are now burried 20-40 cm. Fresh southerly winds are impacting loose snow, forming thin new windslabs and hiding those older, stiffer slabs. Below 1800m, a 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.


      Snowing in the Cheakamus Canyon Thursday morning.

      Snowing at Sea Level.

     Cold temps last week made for a lot of ice forming on Hwy 99.

      Skiing by the rocks can help with some definition.                                                            GD Pic

     Quiet day, one person on the T Bar.                                                                                       GD Pic

    At 1570 meters yesterday we received 5 cm on new snow up to 14:00 Hrs. 5 cm at 1650 m as well! 

      Grooming Blue Line just before dusk.


Mt Fee: Feb 17, 2021

Diamond Head: Feb 17, 2021

Round Mountain Trees: Feb 18, 2021

Round Mountain: Feb 18, 2021

New Snow at Hanging Lake: Feb 18, 2021


Large remotely triggered avalanche: Colorado

Dutch Draw Accident report: UAC

Whistler Powder Picker Feb 18, 2021: David Jones


Incoming Pineapple Express 'a recipe for rising avalanche danger': Pique

Avalanche experts urge caution after a series of fatal avalanches in Sea to Sky: Pique

Danger stacking up on the Coast: Avalanche Canada

Snowmobilers in Colorado, Wyoming latest avalanche victims: CAIC

Dog locates body of snowmobiler killed in avalanche on Ruby Mountain: Colorado

Avalanche Incident report-Wilson Glade: UAC

Safety in the snow--What you need to know: Avalanche Canada

2021 Fernie-hosted ISSW cancelled: EVSAW

An avalanche buried an ambulance in Sakhalin: Russia

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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