Avalanche Canada has issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users in the Cariboos region.
Warning Service Manager Karl Klassen explains
“Our field team did some investigation yesterday and actually found a layer, felt it was quite reactive and we also got a bit of local information about avalanches that occurred a few days ago. Now that we looked into it a bit more, it seemed like they’re probably associated with this layer and that led us to decide to add the Cariboo’s to the special public avalanche warning.”
We asked Klassen if the change in temperatures had anything to do with issuing this warning.
“This all started actually in January, there was a clear spell that allowed the layers on the surfaces to become quite weak and unconsolidated,” Klassen said, “Often during clear spells, we see this kind of sugary snow form on the surface and when those grains get buried by new snow,.they become what we call a persistent weak layer which means it doesn’t bond very well to the snow above and below for quite extended periods of time. And that’s the case, we believe this problem is associated with the January 24th persistent weak layer. There’s also another persistent weak layer a little higher in the snowpack from early February and it’s one of these two layers that’s the problem”.
This warning is in effect immediately and through the coming weekend.
Avalanche Canada forecasters will reassess the situation on Monday to determine if the warning should be extended into next week.
Klassen said Backcountry users should always check their regional avalanche forecasts that can be found at www.avalanche.ca.