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Checking out the snow situation

Around 110 people hit the slopes on Whitewater on Saturday — photo courtesy Whitewater Ski Resort.

There are now chairs hanging from the new Glory Ridge chair lift at Whitewater Ski Resort while another 10 centimetres of snow fell on the slopes on the weekend.

People were already up on the hill — trudging their way up and cavorting their way down — even though the hill is not officially scheduled to open until Friday, Dec. 3, and open fulltime on the weekend of Dec. 11.

Ten chairs have now been strung on the new lift as the snow continued to fall on Saturday afternoon, as the Dec. 17 opening slated for the new lift looks like it might be met.

Backcountry look

In the backcountry, there has been up to 20 cm. of light dry new snow over the weekend, the Canadian Avalanche Centre reported Sunday night.

Snow depths at the tree line range from 80 to 110 cm. However, the new snow may not be bonding to the hard wind slabs from earlier this week and the early November rain crust exists at the tree line and varies from 20 to 30 cm. above the ground.

Although CAC has had no reports of recent avalanches from the Kootenay region, the soft slabs are easy to trigger on north and northeast aspects in the alpine.

As a result, they are advising to avoid steep, wind loaded slopes when venturing out, as well as gully features and convex rolls on north/ northeast aspects in the alpine.

Terrain to watch includes steep gully features at the tree line and steep open glades.

With conditions estimated at variable, stumps and rocks will be hiding under the new snow, and may be lurking in the shallow snow pack at lower elevations.

Although mild in temperature, there won’t be snow falling in higher elevations until Tuesday, turning to light flurries by Wednesday.

Send info to forecaster@avalanche.caor call 250-837-2141 ext 230.