Fernie SAR in operation. Fernie Free Press file photo

Avalanche Canada issues warning for BC Interior

Conditions are ripe to trigger large, dangerous avalanches, says forecaster

Avalanche Canada has issued a special public avalanche warning for much of the BC Interior mountain regions that will remain in effect over the weekend.

The warning covers mountainous regions used for backcountry recreation in the Lizard Range & Flathead, South Rockies, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, South & North Columbia, Glacier National Park and the Cariboos.

According to Avalanche Canada, recent snowstorms have buried weak layers anywhere from 40 cm to more than a metre deep. The weight of new snow has brought the unstable snowpack to a critical point, with conditions ripe for skiers or snowmobilers to trigger large avalanches.

READ: “You have about 15 minutes to live”

“We have been keeping a close eye on these weak layers and the snow load that has been accumulating on top of them,” explains James Floyer, Forecasting Program Supervisor for Avalanche Canada. “It’s a complex situation and we are now at the tipping point. The warmer temperatures forecast for the coming weekend will definitely increase the chances of triggering an avalanche.”

There has been a lot of avalanche activity in the southeast corner of BC over the last few days.

A fatal avalanche in the Lizard Range near Fernie claimed the life of a 36-year-old Alberta man on Monday, Jan. 8. It was triggered by a group of backcountry skiers.

READ: Skier killed in avalanche near Fernie

On the same day, Fernie Search and Rescue also rescued a missing timber biker in the Tent Mountain Area close to the Alberta border. The 43-year-old Albertan was found by helicopter partially buried under his bike in a small avalanche.

“Many of these incidents are occurring in what is generally considered fairly safe terrain, such as relatively low-angle slopes, treed areas and even heavily tracked slopes,” adds Floyer. “These conditions require expert-level decision making skills and we recommend backcountry users avoid avalanche terrain. The signs indicating you are exposed to avalanche terrain can be very subtle. If you don’t have the training to recognize them, please avoid the backcountry or hire a professional guide.”

Just Posted

CSRD hosting open house regarding landfill

There will be an open house February 1 at the Golden and District Recreation Centre hosted by CSRD.

Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO visit Golden

MP Wayne Stetski and Forest Products Association of Canada CEO Derek Nighbor toured LP Mill.

New massage clinic in Golden

A new massage clinic opened in Golden to help ease those aches and pains.

Hockey commentator gets his start

Lukas Pfisterer is just 12-years-old, but already making his mark as a commentator.

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read