Backcountry Climbing Mountain Culture Mountaineering News

Atmospheric River

BC Snowpack Reset?

Our thoughts and concerns are with anybody who has been directly affected by the recent unprecedented weather event. Thanks to members of SAR, BCAS, PEP, RCMP and other individuals for their amazing efforts while helping others in need.
Backcountry enthusiasts should also consider what the “atmospheric river” may have done to our early season snowpack. Regions of BC received over 200 millimetres of rain in a scant 48 hours. In some mountainous areas freezing levels rose well above mountain tops. Many alpine areas have likely seen a significant snowpack reset. When that much rapid loading (precipitation) is combined with high freezing levels, any concerning weak layers have likely been flushed out with a major avalanche cycle during the storm.
Constant rain at elevation will have also have saturated the snowpack, then refrozen it to the point that we can now effectively consider that the new baseline when tracking the snowpack.

Colliding paths? Where is our snowpack heading