The forecasting agency says the warmer temperatures expected this week will increase the likelihood of avalanches throughout the mountains. That same nice weather, combined with B.C.’s spring break, will also mean more people will be heading to the backcountry this week.
The warning is widespread and applies to all mountain ranges in Western Canada.
“This is the first big warming to hit our snowpack, which is still fairly complex and winter-like,” said senior avalanche forecaster Grant Helgeson. “Any time the snowpack is hit with a big change, it tends to destabilize. The temperatures are forecast to increase substantially this week, with no nighttime cooling. This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers.”
All backcountry users, including those going outside ski area boundaries, are advised to keep careful track of regional avalanche forecasts at avalanche.ca. Avalanche Canada says everyone in a backcountry party needs to carry essential rescue gear — transceiver, probe and shovel — and possess the knowledge to use it.
“Ensure your party re-groups well away from avalanche slopes, including overhead hazard such as cornices,” Avalanche Canada said in its warning.