Kimberley Alpine Resort is hosting Avalanche Awareness Days on Saturday, February 6 this year.
This is a good opportunity to get some information and education on how to judge avalanche conditions, use the tools everyone in the backcountry should be carrying and talk to experts, including Kimberley Search and Rescue.
Schedule of Events
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Come check out the latest avalanche equipment at the Kimberley Search and Rescue Booth in the KAR Plaza. Search and Rescue will be on hand to answer any questions you have.
-Transceiver Education and Search Game in Plaza
-Avalanche Safety Videos playing in Stemwinder
11 a.m. – Search and Rescue demonstration with avalanche dog in Plaza
12 noon – Dig a snow Profile Demo at Top of NorthStar Quad
1 p.m. – Search and Rescue demonstration with avalanche dog in Plaza
2:30 p.m. – Wrap up and prizes in Stemwinder Bar and Grill
Avalanche conditions are constantly changing and the latest forecaster’s blog at avalanche.ca says that cold and clear weather at the beginning of January encouraged the formation of weak surface hoar crystals.
More recent storms have buried these weak crystals and a cohesive and reactive slab has developed (picture a white mattress overlying a million little martini glasses).
“In most of these regions, these weak surface hoar crystals are buried 30-45 cm below the surface,” wrote forecaster Joe Lammers. “The exact distribution of the surface hoar is tough to pin down, but if I were a betting man I’d say it’s most widespread and reactive at treeline elevations and below. That said, spatial variability and surface hoar go hand-in-hand. In some valleys, strong winds may have destroyed the surface hoar prior to its burial, while in other drainages it may exist on all aspects and elevations. The scary thing is it’s now buried by a bunch of snow. You won’t know if it exists on the slope you want to ride unless you have x-ray vision, or unless you have the skills to dig down and adequately test for this layer.”
Right now, conditions in the Purcells are moderate risk at alpine and treeline, and low below the treeline. Risk is considerable in the Lizard and Flathead and Kootenay Boundary.
You can keep up to date with all conditions at avalanche.ca. Check it out before heading out.