Forecaster warns over potential for severe avalanche season in B.C. & More Trending News


Avalanche Canada is warning that B.C.’s snowpack this 12 months is unusually weak and will probably be extra susceptible to avalanches. 

The group says individuals who search recreation in backcountry areas needs to be extraordinarily cautious in the inside, the coastal inside, and northwestern areas of the province. 

Avalanche forecaster Mike Conlan says the weak snowpack seen this 12 months in Western Canada solely happens as soon as each 10 to twenty years.

“This sort of snowpack setup is not very common . . the last time we saw a snowpack of this magnitude, many professionals are reaching back to 2003,” he mentioned.

Avalanche Canada says 2003 was one of many worst years on report for fatalities attributable to avalanches.

In January of that 12 months, Craig Kelly, the most effective skilled snowboarders on the time, was one in all seven individuals killed in an avalanche on the Durrand Glacier close to Revelstoke.

In February, seven highschool college students died after being caught in an avalanche in southeastern B.C.

A map shows B.C.'s Interior, coastal interior, and northwest are at risk for avalanche.
An Avalanche Canada map reveals areas most prone to avalanche as a result of weak layers in the snowpack. (Avalanche Canada)

This season, prolonged durations of drought and chilly climate beginning in November created weak layers in the snowpack, in response to Conlan. 

The precipitation and snow that adopted over the previous few weeks confused the flimsy layers under. 

“There is potential that the stress of this new snow could overcome the strength of the weak layers and we could get natural releases,” mentioned Conlan. 

Conlan says the weak snow might persist for months, if not the entire season. 

“What backcountry users need to do is to practice patience and discipline with their terrain travel to make sure they are staying out of high consequence areas,” mentioned Conlan. 

Conlan mentioned there haven’t been any fatalities but, though there have been quite a few accidents from human-triggered avalanches and individuals who narrowly missed being caught in massive avalanches. 

“There still are safe areas that users can go, but you need to make sure that you understand all the avalanche terrain around you.”

Stressed SAR

Prince George Search and Rescue (PGSAR) says it’s making ready for what could also be an uncommon and harmful season. 

“We’re seeing some interesting snowpacks being developed and we echo [Avalanche Canada’s] concerns fully,” mentioned supervisor Dave Merritt. “It’s got a lot of SAR teams stressed out right now.” 

Merritt says the PGSAR staff it’s guaranteeing it is correctly staffed and skilled, and outfitted with gear. He mentioned he hasn’t seen a season like this in a very long time.

“We’re seeing things moving a little easier than they should.”

Merritt advises these heading into the backcountry to be ready by taking avalanche coaching, leaving a visit plan, and checking Avalanche Canada’s bulletin earlier than heading out. 

“We’re reminding people maybe dial it back a little bit. Have fun but maybe not hit the big slopes or the steep terrain.” 

Forecaster warns over potential for severe avalanche season in B.C.

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Forecaster warns over potential for severe avalanche season in B.C.

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Forecaster warns over potential for severe avalanche season in B.C.

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