Avalanches claim 10 lives in Western Canada

By James Peters
March 14, 2016 - 11:54am

KAMLOOPS — A snowmobiler who was killed in a North Shuswap avalanche over the weekend was the tenth fatality in Western Canada as the result of a snow slide so far this season.

Rescue crews recovered the body of a man trapped in a snow slide near Crowfoot Mountain north of Celista yesterday.

Joe Lammers of Avalanche Canada says it wouldn't be a surprise to see more later this month, unfortunately.

"It can feel like Spring, you'll get those warm sunny days, but March is statistically the most deadly month for avalanches, because you are combining those warm days with a complicated winter snow pack," said Lammers, "we just need people to rein it back and be careful if you are heading out into the mountains." 

Lammers says a weak layer was formed by a dry spell near the end of February.

He notes that has led to a low-probability, high-consequence scenario, where avalanches aren't likely, but if they do occur, they could be disastrous.

Lammers advises back country users to stick to conservative terrain right now.

Prescribed burn coming soon in Kenna Cartwright Park