In response to COVID-19 and the temporary suspension of many of Parks Canada’s visitor services, public avalanche bulletins will no longer be issued for the remainder of the 2020 spring season. This is a time to avoid the backcountry. Please stay home to help limit the spread of COVID-19, and to minimize demands placed on emergency response teams and the health care system.
30cm of storm snow since Thursday on the divide along with strong west winds has created windslabs in the alpine and treeline. These are sitting on a weak snowpack and have the potential to step down to deeper layers.
The bottom of the snowpack is a combination of crusts and facets that is reactive to large triggers.
Deep persistent slabs are best managed by:
Cornices are best managed by:
Sunday: Cloudy with flurries and moderate SW winds.
Monday: Cloudy with flurries and moderate to strong SW winds. Up to 10cm Sunday night through Monday on the east side of the park.
Tuesday: Models are in disagreement, with up to 20cm of snow in western areas of the park accompanied by moderate to strong SW winds and freezing levels rising to 1800m
The snowpack in Waterton is highly variable, but you can count on a weaker structure along the divide where 20-30cm of recent storm snow has formed windslabs on lee (east) slopes which are sitting on a weak snowpack consisting of facets and crusts.
Though there have been few Avalanche observations in the park, our neighbors have been experiencing the first big cycle of the season. Several skier triggered avalanches to size 2 were reported on Alpine and Treeline E-NE slopes, as well as several avalanches from explosive triggers on the October 25 crust to size 2-3.