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.
When the sun comes out, temperatures soar above freezing, or rain falls, expect Wet Loose avalanches and Cornice failures. This is especially relevant in steep, high consequence terrain, such as gully climbs on Mt. Andromeda and Mt. Edith Cavell.
Crust and facets from a prolonged Winter persist. These could remain active in the alpine into the Summer season, waking up with rising temperatures or Cornice falls. Watch for slabs on large alpine features, such as the Ramp on Mt. Athabasca.
Any new snow falling high in the Alpine can quickly become Wind Slabs at any time of the year. This has been a problem in the past on terrain like the Silverhorn and Ramp routes on Mt. Athabasca, and on other high peaks, such as Mt. Columbia.
Deep persistent slabs are best managed by:
Cornices are best managed by:
The Mountain Weather Forecast is available from Avalanche Canada (https://www.avalanche.ca/weather/forecast). Detailed local forecasts are available from sites like SpotWX (https://spotwx.com/)
An overview is available: https://www.avalanche.ca/pages/static-page/spring-conditions
Generally, danger increases with daytime warming, & decreases with cold, clear nights. A dry winter snowpack may persist on shady, high alpine slopes.
As the snow thins, crevasse bridges weaken. Use extra care in thin wind-affected areas, eg the Athabasca Glacier.
Activity increases with rising temps, especially during warm and/or sunny afternoons. Use extra caution if the surface hasn't refrozen overnight - clear nights help. Watch for Wind Slabs in the alpine, particularly following snow or rain. Use extra caution if these form above crusts - this often happens into Summer on high peaks, eg Mt Athabasca.