Avalanche Canada has issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users this weekend.
The January 22 – 25 warning applies to the NW Coast and South Coast Inland, as well as the following central Interior mountain regions — the Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Purcells, Kootenay-Boundary and the Lizard/Flathead region. Glacier National Park is also issuing a public warning today.
James Floyer, Avalanche Canada’s Forecasting Program supervisor, said snow storms across the province have buried a weak layer that is particularly prevalent at lower elevations. However, due to the amount of new snow, all elevation bands are potentially hazardous.
“We’ve had a relatively stable snowpack up to this point but things have changed now,” he said. “We urge all recreational backcountry users to recognize this shift and to exercise more caution. Staying safe in the backcountry this weekend requires selecting simple, low-angled terrain, even when you’re at lower elevations below the treeline.”
For up-to-date information check the daily forecasts at www.avalanche.ca. Every person in a backcountry party needs to wear an avalanche transceiver in transmit mode and carry a probe and a shovel in their pack. They should also ensure that all equipment is well maintained and in good working order. Avalanche training and practice in using rescue equipment is essential to ensure a fast and efficient response in case of an emergency.