Parks Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay national parks. This warning is in effect until Monday January 21.
A statement issued Friday morning said Parks Canada expects “warming temperatures and sun exposure to destabilize a complex snowpack with weak layers near the base and at mid-level. The concern is that ‘blue-sky’ days may provide a false sense of security to back country recreationists and avalanche hazards may be underestimated.”
The federal agency recommends that recreational backcountry users with little or no avalanche training or experience to avoid avalanche terrain, or undertake activities in which avalanche risk is managed by professionals. Experienced backcountry recreationists are urged to travel on simple terrain such as small, low angle, well-supported features with no large steep slopes or cornices above. When temperatures are warmest and especially if the sun is out, all avalanche terrain should be avoided, including valley bottom runout zones.
If you do travel in the backcountry:
- Ensure all members of the party carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe; and
- Check the conditions and weather forecast before leaving.
Daily avalanche bulletins for the mountain national parks as well as other areas are posted at: www.avalanche.ca. For updates on current avalanche observations: facebook.com/ParksMountainSafety or facebook.com/KCPublicSafety To view important bulletins: www.pc.gc.ca/glacieravalanche or www.pc.gc.ca/revelstokeavalanche The Canadian Avalanche Centre has also issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning notice. For more information click on “bulletins” at avalanche.ca/cac.