Avalanche Canada issues special public warning for Interior ranges

By Greg Fry
February 8, 2018 - 12:59pm

KAMLOOPS — Avalanche Canada has issued a special public avalanche warning as British Columbians get ready to head out and enjoy the Family Day long weekend.

The warning applies to the Lizard Range and Flathead, South Rockies, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, South and North Columbia, Cariboos, and North Rockies.

"Just with the long weekend and improving weather this will draw people into the mountains and recreationists tend to underestimate avalanche hazard when the weather is improving or good," says Senior Avalanche Forecaster Mark Bender. "And at the moment across all the ranges in the Interior the snowpack depth has doubled in the last four weeks."

He says the weight of the new snow has triggered many large avalanches in recent days.

"And we just want to get the message out to folks it's tricky avalanche conditions at the moment."

Bender adds travelling safely in the backcountry for the next few days will require expert-level skills to avoid hazardous areas.

"If you don't have the training to recognize and avoid avalanche terrain, please avoid the backcountry or hire a professional guide."

He says there have been four avalanche fatalities in Canada this year, three in B.C. Bender says one of those fatal accidents occurred between Blue River and Valemount on January 30.


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