Special public avalanche warning for much of BC’s interior ranges

A weak snowpack and warmer temperatures raise avalanche danger ratings in several regions.

Avalanche Canada and Parks Canada are issuing a special public avalanche warning for recreational backcountry users, in effect immediatey until the end of the day on Monday, January 15.

The warning applies to the following forecast regions: Purcells, Lizard Range & Flathead, Kootenay Boundary, South & North Columbia, Glacier National Park and the Cariboos.

As of Thursday morning, the danger rating in all of these areas is “high”.

“Neighbouring regions are experiencing large natural avalanche cycles and conditions are set for the Purcells to take their turn,” said the Avalanche Canada website.

According to a media release from Avalanche Canada, the snowpack in these areas contains a number of weak layers. Recent snowstorms have buried these layers anywhere from 40 cm to more than a metre deep. The weight of the new snow has brought this unstable snowpack to a critical point, 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,” explained 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.”

There have been a number of near misses reported over the past 7 – 10 days, as well as a fatal avalanche accident north of Fernie on January 8.

“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,” added 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, check www.avalanche.ca.

Just Posted

Kimberley’s Devon Langelaar commits to University of Arizona Wildcats

Josh Lockhart Kimberley Dynamiters’ Devon Langelaar has committed to the University of… Continue reading

Wildsight to host town hall meetings to discuss Retallack tenure proposal

A meeting will take place in Kimberley at Centre 64 on Monday, April 30 at 7p.m.

Montana fed up with B.C.’s selenium pollution

Wildsight questions selenium levels in Elk, Fording Rivers

VIDEO: Turtle Day at Elizabeth Lake

Turtle Day took place on Tuesday, April 24 at the Elizabeth Lake… Continue reading

Kimberley City Council approves funding allocations from CBT Community Initiatives Program

More than ten Kimberley organizations will receive funding.

Canadian musician duets with ancestral Indigenous voices on debut album

Toronto’s Jeremy Dutcher has mixed his operatic tenor with his Wolastoq First Nation roots

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

‘N’ driver in McLaren caught going 70 km/hr in playground zone

Vancouver police said the driver was fined $368 and the luxury car impounded for seven days

Dr. LipJob ordered to stop doing botox and other medical procedures

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh ordered to stop unlawful practice of medicine

B.C. to prevent for-profit blood, plasma collection

Voluntary Blood Donations Act would make it illegal to pay for blood, plasma donations

Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault case

Comedian convicted of drugging and molesting a woman

B.C. legislates recreational marijuana sales

Age limit 19, province retains wholesale cannabis monopoly

COLUMN: Stanley Cup playoff second-round predictions

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins continue their quest for their third straight Stanley Cup

B.C. seeks court ruling on new pipeline regulations

Province wants to require permits for any new bitumen transport

Most Read