Avalanche risk considerable after recent snowfall

By Chad Klassen
January 11, 2017 - 6:00pm
Image Credit: Curtis Allen / CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — After a big dump of snow, many outdoor enthusiasts can't wait to explore mother nature. But with about 35 centimeters falling in the last two days, conditions in the backcountry have changed drastically. 

"Anytime you get a big dump like that, the conditions are going to change as that new snow settles into the existing snowpack," says co-owner of Outlaw Motorsports in Kamloops Landon Leduke. 

The avalanche danger rating sits at considerabe, thanks to more snow and the bitterly cold wind that's accompanied it. 

"They say snow is the building block of avalanches, but wind is really the architect," says Avalanche Canada forecaster Joe Lammers. "So what wind has done is stripped the snow away from some areas and deposited it to create deeper, more destructive slabs."

Avalanche Canada stresses to check the conditions before you head out. But it says the extreme cold we're experiencing is actually a good thing, making for more safe, predictable conditions. 

"With the cold temperatures, you're less likely to see conditions change as quickly as they would if it was -2 or -3 out," says Lammers.

But whether it's -3 or -33, preparations for the backcountry should be the same, starting with an avalanche transceiver to locate a missing person. 

Also becoming popular are two-way radios, but at the very least you need a probe the find the person, and an adequate shovel to dig them out. 

They are pieces of equipment that could help save your life or a friend's in the case of an avalanche. 

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