24 Mar 2021

March 24, 2021

     YESTERDAY:

      Tuesday sunrise was at 07:08 Hrs. -6 with a 5-15 KPH ESE wind.

      By 09:30 Hrs mid mountain cloud was lifting. -5 with a 10-20 KPH SE wind.

      Multiple cloud layers in the am.

      Black Tusk.

      Challenging visibility at times depending on elevation and where the clouds were lifting.


      Always some nice snow somewhere.


     Tuesday March 23, 2021. 15:00 Hrs. -4 with a 5-10 KPH West wind. +7 in the valley.

      Satellite image from same timeframe as above image.

     Thicker cloud cover as the day progressed.


Weather Observations for March 24, 2021 taken at 06:00 Hours.

2240 meters      -7, Winds were 45-60 KPH S--Horstman Hut
2180 meters      -7, Winds were 55-70 KPH SE--Whistler Peak
1860 meters      -5, Winds were 20-35 KPH SE --Rendezvous 
1835 meters      -5, Winds were 25-50 KPH S--Round House
1650 meters      -3,  4 cm in 12 Hrs, 4 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 285 cm --Pig Alley
1570 meters      -3,  3 cm in 12 Hrs, 3 cm in 24 Hrs, Base 201 cm--Catskinner
  660 meters       0, Valley Temp, Max temp Yesterday was +8.2, 0.0 mm of precip yesterday.


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


FORECAST:

A fast moving frontal band will bring an impulse of light precip this am in a Northerly flow aloft. Unsettled weather in its wake with mostly cloudy skies by noon with some sunny breaks later this pm. The FL could go as high as 1400 meters dropping back to near or at surface by tonight. An offshore ridge will build in on Thursday with unsettled weather in the morning, sunnier weather for the afternoon. Friday is looking unsettled with a mix of sun and cloud. Overcast on Saturday with light precip moving in later in the afternoon, a potentially wet windy front arrives Saturday night into Sunday with light-moderate precipitation with seasonal temps. Ridge rebuilds for Monday with sunny skies in the pm.      Guesstimates: 2-4 cm by Thursday am, 0 cm by Friday am, 0 cm by Saturday am, 10-15 cm by Sunday am, 20-25 cm by Monday am. 


      GOES IR image from this am.

         Between the low and the high. Frontal band in the am, unsettled in the pm. 






      Northerly flow aloft.

      High will slowly push back into the area with improving conditions as the day progresses. 





      High pressure for Friday.

.        High the dominant feature on Friday, mix of sun and cloud.

         AVALANCHE ACTIVITY:

         An avalanche has killed a person in Sanctuary Chute, Beaver Creek, CO. Article below. Net Pic

     An avalanche at Gemsstock, CH has killed Julie Pomagalski & a Mountain Guide. Article below.


      An avalanche has killed a skier on Mayen-de-Mase, Switzerland. Article below.                Net Pic

      No new avalanches observed on Blackcomb, Sz 2.5 cornice debris from Xc on Bushrat.


       Cornice blast on Regulator. The majority of the cornice fell off while preparing it for explosives.

      Extensive debris in Blackcomb Bowl. 

      No new avalanches observed on Whistler.


      Frozen Pinwheels

      Cornice debris Vista Bowl Rt. Many natural cornice drops in the past few days. Chuck Ratzlaff Pic


From Sea to Sky avalanche advisory:

Avalanche Summary

Reports on Monday showed several size 1.5-2 cornice releases with explosive control, as well as a few thin storm and wind slab avalanches to size 1.5 in the alpine. Loose wet and loose dry size 1 avalanches from steep terrain facing the sun were also reported in the afternoon.

Expect to see an increase in wind slab and possibly storm slab activity Wednesday with new snow and wind arriving Tuesday night.

Snowpack Summary

By Wednesday midday there may be anywhere from 10-20 cm of new snow from Tuesday night that has likely been redistributed by west and northwest winds. This adds to about 30+ cm accumulation from last weekend. All of the new snow sits above a widespread crust, with the exception of high north-facing terrain. Observations suggest the snow has bonded well to these old interfaces. There are currently no concerning weak layers in the snowpack, although a spotty early season facet layer deep in the snowpack could return as a problem later in the season.

Remember that cornices along ridgelines are large at this time of year and always have the possibility of failing naturally or from the weight of a human.



      INFORMATION & OBSERVATIONS:

      Clouds moved in very quickly Tuesday am.

     Clouds were moving around on Tuesday am.

      Fresh Cord.

     Crust on the South West aspects.

     Be wary of the crust.


      Top of DOA.

      There is a lot of cornice debris around, pay attention.

      Very hard to see in the flat light and cloudy conditions.

      Moderate avalanche hazard on Tuesday.

      Fresh tracks in the backcountry.



FROM SEA TO SKY MIN REPORTS:

Hurley-Chipmunk: March 23, 2021

Phalanx/North Ridge: March 23, 2021


VIDEOS:

Destructive wet snow avalanche: Russia

Different aspects, Different problems: Flathead Avalanche Center


ARTICLES:

An avalanche has killed a person in Beaver Creek: Colorado

Out-of-bounds skier killed in Beaver Creek Avalanche: Colorado

World snowboard champ Julie Pomagalski & Guide have died in an avalanche: Switzerland

An avalanche has killed a skier on Mayens-de-Mase: Switzerland

A cross country skier was killed in an avalanche at Aime-La-Plagne: France

Several avalanches in Valais-Three injured one killed: Switzerland

Update on the Fatal Cornice Failure above Frog Lake Cliffs, CA: SAC

Tactical Team Travel: Powder Cloud


        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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