The backcountry may look pristine and tempting, but the danger is there.
Special Public Avalanche Warning for BC’s Central and Southern Interior RangesAvalanche Canada is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users from Friday February 19 to Monday February 22.
The warning applies to the North Columbia, South Columbia, the Purcells and the Kootenay Boundary. Glacier National Park is also issuing a public warning for backcountry users in that region. For a map of the affected area, click here.
“Recent new snow and wind have deposited up to a metre of new snow across these regions that overlays a weak layer,” explains James Floyer, Avalanche Canada’s Forecasting Program Supervisor. “We’ve seen this layer fail a number of times over the past few days, resulting in some close calls. Our concern is that as the sun comes out this weekend, this weak layer will become more easily triggered. And with the amount of snow that’s on top of it we could be seeing some very large and dangerous avalanches.”
Avalanche Canada recommends backcountry users avoid large slopes in the alpine and at treeline, especially slopes that have not been previously heavily ridden. This advice will be especially important for those seeking fresh tracks or pushing into new riding areas.
Every person in a backcountry party needs to wear an avalanche transceiver in transmit mode and carry a probe and a shovel in their pack. Ensure all equipment is well maintained and in good working order. Avalanche training and practice in using rescue equipment is essential to ensure a fast and efficient response in case of an emergency.
For up-to-date information check the daily forecasts at www.avalanche.ca and Avalanche Canada’s Mountain Information Network.