Avalanche Canada has issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users in the BC Interior.
Simon Horton, Senior Forecaster for Avalanche Canada said the storm cycles that hit western Canada this past weekend added significant snow on top of an exceptionally weak lower snowpack, bringing conditions to a tipping point where dangerous avalanches are likely.
“There has been quite a bit of dramatic change in the weather and that typically disturbs the snowpack and makes avalanche conditions tricky. During the peak of the storm we saw quite elevated danger ratings and what we’re concerned about now is that if the weather conditions improve the danger ratings might go down, but at the same time, it’s tricky conditions and that danger rating might not tell the whole story. So our Special Warning is to let people know that there’s potential to trigger large avalanches right and that it’s tricky to travel in the backcountry.”
Horton added that making conservative terrain choices can help manage this risk.
“Sticking to lower angle slopes and choosing smaller objectives that minimize the consequences of an avalanche are examples of how to reduce the risk and backcountry users should always check the avalanche forecast at www.avalanche.ca.
Avalanche Canada says this special warning will remain in effect until the end of Monday, January 2nd and includes the Northern Rockies, and extends down to Valhalla Provincial Park near Castlegar.