Warm Temperatures, New Snow Prompt Avalanche Warning
Prince George, B.C. – Avalanche Canada has issued an avalanche warning from Friday through to the end of the day on Monday.
Affected areas include the North Rockies, northern section of the Cariboos and the northern tip of the North Columbia Region.
The warning has been triggered by the recent spell of warm weather and new snow – resulting in a dense “slab” layer, which is resting on a very weak base. This combination of factors makes for an unstable snowpack and thus ripe conditions for large avalanches.
“It was unusually cold and dry in this region through December and early January, giving the area a very thin and weak snowpack,” explains James Floyer, Forecasting Program Supervisor for Avalanche Canada. “We have been anticipating this problem for a while and now it’s here. This week’s warmer temperatures and new snow have created a very dangerous situation for backcountry users.”
“This problem can be managed through good terrain choices,” adds Floyer. “Human triggered avalanches in this region will be likely this region. With these conditions, it’s vital that riders make conservative choices in their riding.”
Flyer recommends anyone heading out in the backcountry to have an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.
He says a two-day avalanche skills training course is the minimum training recommended for travelling in avalanche terrain.