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.
The avalanche danger is variable and can range from Low to High. Travelling early in the day is recommended, as conditions can change rapidly in short periods of time due to daytime warming. Pay careful attention to the integrity of surface crusts formed overnight and rising air temperatures during the day. Dry slab avalanche danger may also exist during spring snow storms.
Any significant storms or increased winds will redistribute soft snow in the alpine and form wind slabs in lee areas. Watch for wind loading when entering steeper, more committing ski lines or climbing alpine routes.
If the sun comes out for any length of time or daytime temperatures rise above freezing, expect loose wet avalanches out of steep terrain. Cornice failures will also increase with warm temperatures.
Though not widespread, this layer of facets over crusts from mid April has been reactive in the alpine for a couple weeks and may persist for the next week or two. Some deeper persistent layers may also wake up as temperatures climb later in spring.
Deep persistent slabs are best managed by:
Cornices are best managed by:
Go to www.avalanche.ca/weather/forecast for the current weather forecast.
New snow instabilities are generally settling rapidly and alpine N aspects remain cold and dry. Concern remains for alpine solar aspects where April facets between crusts have been reactive in the past week. Treeline and below a spring melt freeze snowpack exists with crusts in the AM and increasing hazard in the PM depending on temperatures.
As of May 5th, loose wet avalanches with daytime warming on solar aspects and lower elevations, and a few wind and storm slabs in the alpine up to size 2 were reported in the past week. Increasing temperatures in the next weeks will lead to increased avalanche avalanche activity and cornice failures especially during the hottest parts of the day.