Special avalanche warning issued for many BC interior ranges

By Geoff Smith - Lethbridge News Now
January 11, 2018 - 3:00pm

REVELSTOKE, B.C.  A Special Public Avalanche warning was issued Thursday, Jan. 11 for a large area of the B.C. interior, due to weak layers in the snow pack.

“Recent snowstorms have buried these layers anywhere from 40 cm to more than a metre deep,” Avalanche Canada said in a news release. “The weight of the new snow has brought this unstable snowpack to a critical point, making it very easy for skiers or snowmobilers to trigger large avalanches.”

The specific areas include Lizard Range & Flathead, South Rockies, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, South & North Columbia, Glacier National Park and the Cariboos.

Since the start of January there has been one avalanche-related fatality, along with several near-misses. The agency said many have been in areas normally considered fairly safe.

“These conditions require expert-level decision making skills and we recommend backcountry users avoid avalanche terrain,” forecasting program supervisor James Floyer said. “The signs indicating you are exposed to avalanche terrain can be very subtle. If you don’t have the training to recognize them, please avoid the backcountry or hire a professional guide.”

Floyer said warmer temperatures expected on the weekend will likely make conditions worse.

The avalanche warning is in effect until the end of Monday, Jan. 15.

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