Early Winter Info
Taking stock of the winter season?
As we approach the end of November, now is a great time to take stock of what we can anticipate for our snowpack going forward.
After an unusually warm and sunny October for most of the province, winter arrived seemingly overnight in early November with low freezing levels and plenty of snow. This got folks excited for ski season and the reports of early season adventures started to flood social media and we all collectively forgot to continue our snow dances, which led to a mostly cold, snow-free and sunny two-week period.
Now that we are finally looking at the end of this current high pressure and the return of falling snow, we must move forward with caution. At the moment there are lots of reports of widespread facetting as well as a variety of surfaces, sun crusts, and surface hoar. All of this will be buried by the next set of storms and will most likely be our first proper avalanche cycle in some areas depending on the snowfall amounts. Keeping in mind our current surfaces, we might also be faced with some persistent weak layers as we transition into December which will require a humble approach and discipline to stick with our conservative terrain choices when needed. Most ski hills, guided operations and other sources of snowpack data are not up and running yet so information is limited, making it more difficult to get a grasp on things.
If you do get out, remember to take photos and post MIN reports! This helps Avalanche Canada produce their public bulletin and provides other backcountry users with current info.
Interesting in taking an AST course? Check out our current schedule at Colwest Avalanche Training.