Conditions Report: Coast Jan 18, 2017
Julie-Ann Chapman | On 18, Jan 2017
She’s cold, she’s hot!
The weather has been just like a lady struggling with menopause. We just went “balls deep” into quite the active storm cycle starting Monday evening. We went from nice, sunny but cold weather at the end of last week to an insane spike in temperatures and over 50cm (in some spots) of new snow in less than 24 hours in higher elevations (and rain in lower elevations). Now send me your best “wetter than a…” jokes…
As far as the snowpack goes, 30cm of new wet snow fell on a variety of different unstable surfaces (melt freeze crust, sun affected slopes, wind slabs, etc). That combined with a spike in temperature = danger. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a ton of natural avalanches—hopefully no human triggered ones—in the next day or so out there.
Always make sure to always check the Avalanche Canada reports before heading out into the backcountry. Please feel free to write your own report of what you have found and observed out there on AvCan’s Mountain Information Network (MIN)! This is a great tool to read about what’s been going on in the backcountry. Here is my MIN Report from yesterday.
Reality check: Try to eliminate risk as much as you can when going out in the backcountry at least for another couple days. It’s touchy out there and the new snow is not bonding well to the layer it fell on. Play safe.
Freezing levels are going to start to drop back down on Thursday, but in the meantime expect freezing levels to hover at around 2000m. We’re expecting about another 35cm of snow in high elevations over the next couple days. Looks like cloud and some mellow snowfalls in the forecast for the next week…
Brohm Squamish – Seeing as I do not head to Brohm to ride very often, Brody Fourchalk will be helping me out with the report for this location through out the season. It was raining at the cabin today. Parking is pretty much at the bottom now. The Black Tusk Club has now started charging for trail fees, help support the club! Grooming is underway.
Brandywine Whistler – People are parking at the bottom. Grooming and trail fee collection is underway. However, it’s still creek-y in the bowl! Those creeks will munch you whole, so watch out! The new road to access Chocolate Bowl is open.
Rutherford Pemberton Ice Cap – The groomer has started to groom to the cabin. The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club is now collecting fees.
The moulin (which claimed a life last season) is wide open just past Appa Lake (before gas drop) and is not roped off. It is right in the middle of the path where people travel. The ground dips down quite a bit before the actual hole, but if you are mock-chickening it there will be no stopping before. The Pemberton Ice Cap is like Swiss cheese, there are MANY moulins and crevasses open and are constantly changing, ESPECIALLY this early in the season. If you are a smart backcountry & glacier traveler then you are aware that these holes are expected and are actually everywhere! Always look in front and travel with caution.
The backcountry is a dangerous place and people shouldn’t expect for things to be marked off like at resorts. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions back there. Take a crevasse rescue course, be prepared, ride with people that know the area, etc.
Hurley FSR Pemberton – You are parking at the bottom of the Hurley now. The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club will be starting to groom the Hurley in the next couple of weeks. Please purchase your membership to support the Club, or pay the $20 fee at the trailhead. Heads up, a HUGE boulder has slid onto the road at about 34km. Backcounrty Snowcats has marked it off with red fence for safety! Thank you! Heads up as well, their season for cat-skiing has started, so please respect their zone and don’t go sledding there.
Now is a good time buy your local snowmobile club membership! The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile club will be doing weekly draws for everyone signed up for their season’s pass membership and is offering a discount for premium gas at AC Gas! Contest ends last week of January.