Winter's Return To Canada Has Come With "Scary" Avalanche Conditions

In the latest episode of the 2023-2024 Avalanche Conditions Report—presented by Whitewater Ski Resort, State of the Snowpack, and Backcountry Skiing Canada—Whitewater avalanche forecaster Jason Wishlow noted that dangerous avalanche conditions exist throughout the British Columbia backcountry.

"It's March 7, 2024, and while winter is well underway, its return has come with scary conditions," the accompanying post reads.

Wishlow explains that on February 2nd, a melt-freeze formed in the snowpack. Then, it snowed—a lot.

On top of the melt-freeze is a thin layer of facets that are failing and causing avalanches. After the storm that recently blasted British Columbia, nearly ten feet of snow was deposited atop this weak layer in some areas, stressing the snowpack significantly.

Wishlow's forecast was published yesterday, meaning he shared that a Special Public Avalanche Warning from Avalanche Canada was in effect for Whitewater's forecast zone. The SPAW has since expired, yet "considerable" avalanche risk remains around Whitewater at all altitudes today.

The risk posed by the weak layer should persist into spring. "As spring arrives, the snow over this layer will get heavier, and the likelihood of triggering significant avalanches will increase," the post from Whitewater, State of the Snowpack, and Backcountry Skiing Canada reads.

Whitewater Ski Resort Stats:

Vertical: 2014 ft.

Total Skiable Terrain: 3247 ac.

Average Snowfall: 480 in.

Lifts: 5

Trails: 97

Snowmaking: NO

Related: Avalanche Forecaster Nick Burks Killed In Oregon Avalanche

Don't miss another headline from POWDER! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay connected with the latest happenings in the world of skiing.

We're always on the lookout for amusing, interesting and engaging ski-related videos to feature on our channels. Whether you're a professional or just an amateur, we want to see your best footage and help you share it with the world. Submit your video for a chance to be featured on POWDER and our social channels. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch high-quality ski videos.