17 Mar 2021

March 17, 2021


      Sunrise Tuesday 07:23 Hrs. -7 with a 0-5 KPH South breeze.

      No lineup on Fitzsimmons chair.

      Upper Fitzsimmons Valley.

     Cloudier to the South Tuesday am.

      Cowboy Ridge

      Tuesday morning.

      Clouds to the South but mostly sunny in Whistler.

      Still nice snow on North Aspects.

      Tuesday March 16, 2021. 14:30 hrs. 0 Deg c with a 5-10 East wind. +6 in the valley.

      Satellite image from the same timeframe as above image.

      Afternoon laps.


Weather Observations for March 17, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -5, Winds were 25-30 KPH S--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -6, Winds were 35-40 KPH SE--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -3, Winds were 10-15 KPH SE --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -2, Winds were 15-25 KPH ESE--Round House
1650 meters      -5,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 272 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -4,  0 cm in 12 Hrs, 0 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 195 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters      -3, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +8.6, 0.0 mm of precip yesterday.

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


Mostly cloudy and dry today in a South Westerly flow aloft. Sunny breaks this am, the FL will likely spike at around 1500 meters and possibly higher. Warm temps will likely keep the FL at around 1200 meters overnight with the cloud cover and approaching front, depends on which model you look at.    Cold front arrives Thursday around noon with light precip, strong winds and warm temperatures. We may get lucky but the FL has the potential to go above 1800 meters. Another impulse on Friday with cooler temps and light precip. Weak upper trough for Saturday will bring unsettled weather with snow showers, cloud and some sunny breaks. Guesstimates: 0 cm by Thursday am, 12-18 cm above 1700 meters by Friday am, 10-15 cm by Saturday am, 2-5 cm by Sunday am.

      GOES IR image from this am.

       High shifts East, Low sends cloud our way for today.

      South Westerly flow aloft.

         Low will send a cold front our way on Thursday.

      Low will send another frontal band on Friday.


      Size 3 near Mt Fee, Sv, MIN Report below.                                                                 Sam Sedun Pic

      Update on the avalanche on Mt Baldy, CA. Update below.                                      Gudaev Image 

      Wet loose from Monday evening.

      Xc Prime Rib Cornice yesterday.

      Not sure why you would want to ski through cornice debris.

      Dense snow.

      Loose dry from Monday evening. Lakeside.

      Lakeside Traverse.

     Numerous wet loose from Monday afternoon.

      Dry loose cycle from Monday.

      Loose wet on Whistler.

From Sea to Sky avalanche advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Cornices were triggered by explosives on Monday and Tuesday, releasing large chunks that could kill a person. Small to large (size 1 to 2.5) slabs were triggered by skiers, explosives, and naturally on Monday within the recent 10 to 20 cm of storm snow. 

There's evidence of some large avalanches in the past week around the Whistler area, including near Mt. Fee (see here and here) and last week on Mt. Fissile in the Whistler backcountry. These avalanches may be due to extensive wind loading, but they may also be associated with isolated weak snow from earlier this season.

Snowpack Summary

Wind slabs may linger in steep, lee terrain features at treeline and alpine elevations from Sunday's 15 to 20 cm of snow with extreme southeast wind. The wind slabs could be substantially thicker immediately adjacent to ridges from rapid snow loading during the storm. Expect to find a hard melt-freeze crust on sun-exposed slopes and on all aspects below around 1500 m. The crust may weaken into moist snow on sun-exposed slopes if sunny skies prevail. Along ridgelines, cornices are large and will weaken with daytime warming.

Around 100 to 300 cm of consolidated snow may overly sugary faceted grains formed earlier this season. These layers are expected to be spotty around the region and we haven't received conclusive evidence of them being the culprit of avalanche activity. That being said, it is possible they may be associated with a few recent large avalanches around the Whistler area.


     Awesome colors to the South Tuesday am.

      Sometimes it's better to bow out than continue if you are not sure!

      Crust on SW aspect of Lakeside Bowl.

      Bottom of Harmony Chair.

       Lemmings Leap

       Backcountry has been a busy place.

      Some folks make risky route finding decisions.

      Certainly would not be loitering in this path on a hot sunny day.

      Happy St Patrick's Day. Vintage tip stand on skinny sticks.


Close call in the snow zone: March 14, 2021

Bridge: March 15, 2021

Mt Fee Sz 3: March 16, 2021 


Snowmobiler cuts out avalanche: Colorado

Wind: David Jones


An avalanche has injured 2, killed 1 after being rescued, March 15, 2021: Poland

Spring runoff closes Icefields Parkway for avalanche control: Alberta

Update on the avalanche on Mt Baldy, CA.: March 13, 2021

Persistent slab evolution: Crested Butte Avalanche Centre

Mountain Mentors-Going it together: Backcountry Magazine

       Submit your best avalanche photo for a pair of Goggles March 1-31, 2021. Sea to Sky Area.

                                                    Thanks to Volkl Canada for sponsoring.

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