WHISTLER BLACKCOMB

BACKCOUNTRY

As North America’s #1 Resort, Whistler Blackcomb is also your gateway to a vast area of unmarked and un-patrolled backcountry access in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. 

The allure of backcountry skiing and riding has increased over the last few years and many resorts, as well as manufacturers, are filling this demand with innovative products and services. Gathered below are resources to guides, training, gear, and bulletins to make help make your adventure safe and prepare you for avalanche and glacier hazards.

 

Patrol - Emergency

For on hill emergencies only

604-935-5555
 

BACKCOUNTRY ADVISORY

Issued at: 12/6/2019 12:00:00 AM Valid to: 12/7/2019 12:00:00 AM

This three day avalanche hazard forecast is prepared for the Sea to Sky Region including surrounding areas of Whistler Blackcomb - Terrain easily accessible as a day tour from Whistler Blackcomb’s boundaries. This advisory refers to areas outside the ski are boundary.

AVALANCHE SUMMARY

Heavy snowfall on Thursday night could result in a natural cycle of avalanches overnight and leave storm slabs primed for human triggering on Friday. Prior to the storm there were reports of a few small (size 1) slab avalanches triggered by skiers and explosives on Wednesday. They were 20-30 cm thick and ran on a hard crust. This crust could provide a bed surface for large avalanches to run on during the storm.

SNOWPACK SUMMARY

A return to stormy weather is bringing much needed snow to the Sea to Sky region. 20-40 cm of new snow is possible by midday Friday, with another storm pulse coming Friday night. Not to far beneath this new snow is a hard crust that formed in late November. Recent snowpack tests have shown the snow above this crust is weak and could provide a bed surface for avalanches to run on. Typical snowpack depths in the alpine currently range between 50 and 150 cm, depending on the amount of wind affect. Snowpack depths taper quickly with elevation as most treeline terrain is still below the threshold for avalanches.

WEATHER FORECAST

THURSDAY NIGHT: 10-25 cm of snow above 1600 m (rain below), 50 km/h wind from the southwest, alpine temperatures around -3 C.

FRIDAY: 10-20 cm of snow above 1800 m (rain below), 50 km/h wind from the southwest, alpine high temperatures around -1 C.

SATURDAY: 20-30 cm of snow above 1400 m (rain below), 30 km/h wind from the southwest, alpine high temperatures around -3 C.

SUNDAY: Mix of sun and cloud, light wind from the north, alpine high temperatures around -3 C.

CONFIDENCE

High - We are confident the likelihood of avalanche will increase with the arrival of the forecast weather.

TODAY'S DANGER SCALE

Alpine
Treeline
Below treeline
3 - Considerable
2 - Moderate
1 - Low

DANGER SCALE FORECAST

OVERVIEW Saturday Sunday Monday
Alpine Considerable Considerable Considerable
Treeline Moderate Considerable Moderate
Below treeline Low Low Low

1 - Low

  • 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.

2 - Moderate

  • 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.

3 - Considerable

  • Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
  • Naturale avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
  • Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.

4 - High

  • 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.

5 - Extreme

  • Avoid all avalanche terrain.
  • Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
  • Large to very large avalanches in many areas.

Storm Slab

20-40 cm of new snow and strong wind will make storm slabs very easy to trigger at upper elevations. A buried crust beneath the storm slab could cause wide propagations and large avalanches.

What Elevations?
What Aspect?
Chances of Avalanches?
Expected Size?

Travel and Terrain Advice


FORECAST DISCLAIMER

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK:

The Whistler Blackcomb Avalanche Bulletin and other information and services provided by Avalanche Canada are intended for personal and recreational purposes only.

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IN NO EVENT SHALL THE PROVIDERS BE LIABLE FOR AN DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES RESULTING FROM DISCOMFORT, INJURY, OR DEATH, CLAIMS BY THIRD PARTIES OR FOR OTHER SIMILAR COSTS, OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE INFORMATION.

The user acknowledges that it is impossible to accurately predict natural events such as avalanches in every instance, and uses the data in the bulletin with this always foremost in mind. The accuracy or reliability of the data is not guaranteed or warranted in any way and the Providers disclaim liability of any kind whatsoever, including, without limitation, liability for quality, performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose arising out of the use, or inability to use the data.

Plan your trip thoroughly


Be prepared to cope with emergencies due to fatigue, equipment failures, weather, and avalanches.

  • Evaluate each member's capacity and ability
  • Check the personal equipment of the party
  • Carry a mobile phone with full battery charge
  • Keep hydrated and nourished throughout the day
  • Understand supply levels of liquid and food for the group
  • Pace the travel speed of the party so that no one becomes exhausted
  • Keep the party together but not too close in avalanche terrain
  • The leader should be experienced in route selection
  • Ensure that there are sufficient tools in the group to repair broken skis, skins, and bindings
  • The leader must be capable of organizing a backcountry avalanche rescue including applying first aid and keeping survivors alive until rescuers arrive

Things you should be aware of


  • Understand this winter's snowpack layers
  • Knowledge of recent snowfall and type of snow
  • Know the current Whistler backcountry Avalanche Advisory rating
  • Understand today's weather conditions including snowfall, temperature, and visibility
  • Never travel alone

Backcountry Programs

Backcountry Privates

Learn More

Backcountry Intro Groups

Learn More

Backcountry Experienced Groups

Learn More

Avalanche Skills Training Level 1+

Learn More

Avalanche Skills Training Level 2

Learn More

Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel

Learn More