Impact of Rain and High Freezing Levels
As we move into December it is worth doing a quick summary of what the snowpack currently like, after a very stormy but mild November. This last week saw yet another series of atmospheric rivers crash into BC which pushed the freezing levels up to around 2000-2200 meters, depending on where in BC you are located. A large avalanche cycle followed suit with multiple forecast regions reporting large slides running full path into valley bottom. As the weather now returns to more seasonally normal temperatures it is safe to say that BTL and TL elevations will have a significant rain crust that will taper off as you transition into the alpine. There is significant variability in snowpack depth with alpine elevations sitting anywhere from 1.5 to 2 meters of snow while lower elevations are below threshold in some places as the warm temperatures and significant rainfall have melted away much of the early snowpack. 😞
Until the lower elevations recover with more snow it will probably not offer much good skiing and in the alpine you will have to navigate wind slabs and watch for further wind loading as the next set of weather systems shifts to a more northwesterly flow.
Avalanche Canada is now up and running with forecasts for all regions. Make sure to check your local forecast as well as any MIN reports that refer to the area around your riding destination.