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Avalanche warning issued for southern B.C., Alberta

Avalanche Canada put out the notice Feb. 10, effective immediately and running through Feb. 13.
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An avalanche warning has been issued for a widespread region across southern BC and Alberta. Avalanche Canada put out the notice Thursday, Feb. 10. It is effective immediately and runs through Sunday, Feb. 13.

An avalanche warning has been issued for a widespread region across southern BC and Alberta.

Avalanche Canada put out the notice Thursday, Feb. 10. It is effective immediately and runs through Sunday, Feb. 13. The warning applies to the following regions: Sea to Sky, South Coast Inland, Cariboos, North and South Columbias, Kootenay-Boundary, Purcells, and Jasper and Glacier National Parks.

For a map of the affected areas, go to here …

James Floyer, Forecasting Program Supervisor for Avalanche Canada, said the main concern is a critical weak layer buried about 60 cm below the snow surface throughout these regions.

“This layer is deep enough to produce large avalanches, yet shallow enough to be triggered by a human or machine,” Floyer said in a statement. “The forecast of warm temperatures and sun will contribute to this problem this weekend.”

The weak layer is most active at treeline elevation, where the forest opens up and gives way to the alpine and many good riding options exist. Backcountry users are encouraged to stick to simple terrain and to avoid grouping up in places threatened by avalanches from above.

“Under the current conditions, sparsely treed slopes do not provide protection from avalanches and could be even more dangerous due to the risk of being swept into trees,” Floyer said. “Lower angled slopes or densely forested areas, where the tree canopies are touching, will be better choices as long as they are not threatened by steep slopes from above.”

Backcountry users should always check their regional avalanche forecasts at www.avalanche.ca. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the knowledge to use it.



Barry Coulter

About the Author: Barry Coulter

Barry Coulter had been Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman since 1998, and has been part of all those dynamic changes the newspaper industry has gone through over the past 20 years.
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