Avalanche Canada warns novice skiers, sledders to avoid backcountry over Easter

By The Canadian Press
March 24, 2016 - 11:38am

VANCOUVER — Skiers and snowmobilers in eastern British Columbia and parts of southwestern Alberta are being warned to use extreme caution in the backcountry over the Easter long weekend because of a high avalanche risk.

Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning for Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, and Jasper national parks, Kananaskis Country in Alberta, the Purcells near Golden, B.C., and the North Rockies east of Prince George.

There’s concern a deeply buried weak layer of the snowpack has recently produced large human-triggered and natural avalanches.

Snow cornices, daytime warming and human activity are all potential triggers for new slides and Avalanche Canada says the danger hidden under the snow is almost invisible.

The organization recommends inexperienced or untrained backcountry users stay out of avalanche terrain at least until March 28.

Skiers and sledders who do venture into the backcountry this weekend are urged to travel one-at-a-time through risky areas, stay clear of slopes threatened by cornices and always carry appropriate rescue gear.

The Canadian Press

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