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Dangerous avalanche conditions for the Cariboos

Updated: Dangerous avalanche conditions are being seen across the province.

In the Cariboo mountains, danger ratings are listed as high.

“There’s been a whole bunch of new snow in the last few days,” said Avalanche Canada forecaster Kate Devine.

“Since yesterday morning there’s been about 25 centimeters in most places and another 10-20 forecast to fall by Friday afternoon.”

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Devine added that the snow is sitting on a weak persistent layer of feathery surface hoar crystals that is better known as hoar frost.

“This stuff forms on the surface of the snow during cold clear nights, and when it gets buried it’s a very weak sliding layer and it doesn’t heal very quickly so it can last into later parts of the season once it gets buried,” Devine explained.

“So with a bunch of new snow on this layer, we’re seeing avalanches being triggered. Natural avalanches, human triggered avalanches, and as it continues to snow it’s going to continue to be a problem.”

Devine said the high avalanche danger will likely subside going into next week and advises anyone heading into the backcountry to get the training, gear, and forecast.

“This problem with this weak layer is somewhat complex and although we may not be seeing natural avalanche activity the likelihood of human triggered avalanches will probably remain elevated into next week.”

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