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Avalanche Forecast - Purcells    


Date Issued   Friday, 27 January 2012 4:20 PM      Valid Until    Saturday, 28 January 2012 4:00 PM

The snowpack in the Purcells is quite spacially variable and complex. Carefully evaluate each slope before committing to it.

Danger Rating: Saturday Alpine Treeline Below Treeline
3 - Considerable Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route finding and conservative decision making essential.
3 - Considerable Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route finding and conservative decision making essential.
2 - Moderate Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Sunday Monday
Alpine 4 - High 3 - Considerable
Treeline 4 - High 3 - Considerable
Below Treeline 4 - High 3 - Considerable
Confidence: Fair - Freezing levels are uncertain on Monday
Learn more about danger ratings
Low Moderate Considerable High Extreme

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.

Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.

Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.

Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.

Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.

Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.

Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.

Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.

Avoid all avalanche terrain.

Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.

Large to very large avalanches in many areas.

Wind Slabs
What Elevation Zone?
Which Slopes?
Chance of Avalanches?
Expected Size?
Watch for wind slab in exposed areas at all three elevation bands as wind continues to redistribute storm snow into soft slabs.
Travel and Terrain Advice
  • Avoid convexities or areas with a thin or variable snowpack.
  • Be cautious as you transition into wind affected terrain.
  • Extra caution needed around cornices with current conditions.
  • Be aware of the potential for full depth avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.
Storm Slabs
What Elevation Zone?
Which Slopes?
Chance of Avalanches?
Expected Size?
South of Golden, storm snow totals are near 100 cm & a few different shears can be found in the new snow. You're most likely to trigger a storm slab in steep unsupported terrain.
Travel and Terrain Advice
  • Avoid convexities or areas with a thin or variable snowpack.
  • Be cautious as you transition into wind affected terrain.
  • Extra caution needed around cornices with current conditions.
  • Be aware of the potential for full depth avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.
Persistent Slabs
What Elevation Zone?
Which Slopes?
Chance of Avalanches?
Expected Size?
Two layers to watch: 1. Buried surface hoar, most likely triggered on steep, unsupported slopes amongst the trees. 2. Basal facets, triggerable from thin snowpack areas or by a heavy load (cornice fall, airborne sled).
Travel and Terrain Advice
  • Avoid convexities or areas with a thin or variable snowpack.
  • Be cautious as you transition into wind affected terrain.
  • Extra caution needed around cornices with current conditions.
  • Be aware of the potential for full depth avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.

Prepared by ghelgeson