Many mountain slopes in B.C.’s interior may be treacherous this week, as Avalanche Canada is predicting a high risk.
The forecasting agency said many regions are likely to see avalanche activity on Monday, particularly in areas between Cranbrook and Grand Forks, the Columbia Valley and the Selkirk Mountain ranges.
“Warm temperatures, new snow and strong winds will create very dangerous avalanche conditions on Monday,” said Avalanche Canada officials. “Uncertainty is best managed by conservative terrain choices at this time. Avoid shallow areas where triggering the deep persistent weak layer is more likely.”
Avalanches on the slopes could be set off at any elevation, with the risk increasing as you go higher up.
The forecaster said the issue comes from a storm slab in most places. On top of that, it is combined with a deep persistent slab in other locations.
“If triggered, storm slab avalanches may step down to deeper weak layers resulting in large avalanches,” said Avalanche Canada. “The base of the snowpack remains very weak. Very large human-triggered avalanches are possible at treeline and above.”
Experts advise using extreme caution in the backcountry or avoiding dangerous areas altogether.
“Avoid shallow and rocky areas, where the snowpack depth is highly variable. This is a very concerning avalanche problem and should stay in your mind when travelling in the backcountry,” said Avalanche Canada.
Areas around Kimberley and in the Elk Valley have a considerable avalanche risk, which is expected to rise on Tuesday before falling back down on Wednesday.
The rest of southern B.C. is likely going to see its avalanche risk decrease through the week, but outdoor enthusiasts should still be extremely careful.
Large avalanches, particularly those caused by humans, can still happen when the avalanche risk is considerable.
Avalanche Canada said it’s important to be prepared for an emergency if you head outdoors.
They also advise against travelling in the backcountry when the risk of an avalanche is high.