REVELSTOKE — A Special Public Avalanche Warning has been issued for recreational backcountry people in most of BC's interior from Parks Canada and Avalanche Canada. The warning applies to the Cariboos, Glacier National Park, South & North Columbia, Kootenay Boundary, Purcells, South Rockies and Lizard Range & Flathead.
Recent snowstorms have made the snowpack in these areas critically unstable, making it very easy for skiers or snowmobilers to trigger large avalanches.
"We have been keeping a close eye on these weak layers and the snow load that has been accumulating on top of them,” explains James Floyer, Forecasting Program Supervisor for Avalanche Canada. “It’s a complex situation and we are now at the tipping point. The warmer temperatures forecast for the coming weekend will definitely increase the chances of triggering an avalanche."
In the past 7-10 days, there's been a number of near misses, along with a fatal avalanche accident north of Fernie on January 8th. "Many of these incidents are occurring in what is generally considered fairly safe terrain, such as relatively low-angle slopes, treed areas and even heavily tracked slopes,” adds Floyer. “These conditions require expert-level decision-making skills and we recommend backcountry users avoid avalanche terrain. The signs indicating you are exposed to avalanche terrain can be very subtle. If you don’t have the training to recognize them, please avoid the backcountry or hire a professional guide."
For current avalanche conditions, visit Avalanche Canada.
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