A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.

Avalanche danger ratings high across Kootenays

Monday’s snow storm is expected to bring an avalanche cycle

Avalanche danger ratings are high across the Kootenay-Boundary region and Monday’s snowfall is expected to cause an avalanche cycle to occur.

According to Avalanche Canada forecasts for Tuesday, December 22, danger levels are high in the alpine territory as well as the treeline and below the treeline.

READ MORE: Winter storm warning in effect for East Kootenay region

Danger ratings are expected to drop down to considerate on Wednesday, however Avalanche Canada is warning of changing conditions.

The snowpack summary from Avalanche Canada says that Monday’s snow storm will continue to load a weak layer around 30 to 60 centimetres deep.

“Riders have reported substantial avalanche activity and whumphing on this layer as well as surprising snowpack test results,” reads the bulletin. “This layer remains a major concern, as humans may be able to trigger large and destructive avalanches on it.”

Avalanche Canada says that travel in alpine terrain at this time is not recommended. Dangers are expected to remain high in the Lizard Range, Flathead Range, Purcells and South Rockies regions.

“It’s now time for very cautious mountain travel. The central and northern part of the (Purcell) region is primed for human-triggered avalanches. More snow is on the way and conditions are not going to get better in the near term,” reads the forecast for the Purcell range.

Conditions are getting worse. Please be aware of the terrain hazards prior to heading out. This report is for the Purcell Mountains.

Posted by Kimberley Search and Rescue on Monday, December 21, 2020

A notice from Avalanche Canada for the South Rockies region says to avoid all avalanche terrain during periods of heavy loading from new snow and wind.

“Shooting cracks, whumphs and recent avalanches are strong indicators of an unstable snowpack,” says the notice. “Storm slabs in motion may step down to deeper layers resulting in large avalanches.”

According to a Facebook post from Avalanche Canada South Rockies, the avalanche danger was obvious in the Lakit area on Sunday.

“We could hear whumpfing sounds as the snow was collapsing under our feet and we triggered a few slab avalanches on steeper terrain just by walking on nearby low angle terrain,” reads the post. “The snow underneath the 30 cm of fresh snow is weak right now and will likely stay that way for awhile.”

Avalanche Canada also recently put out a press release thanking Teck for a decade of support. For ten years, Teck has sponsored Avalanche Canada, enabling the organization to continue to transform avalanche safety.

Teck’s sponsorship led directly to the creation of the South Rockies field team, says the press release. This team gathers snowpack information that is used to produce the daily forecasts for the South Rockies and Lizard/Flathead Ranges.

“Teck is one of our most important sponsors,” says Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada. “Over the years they have contributed a total of $840,000, allowing us to develop and deliver effective and stable programs for the South Rockies and Flathead regions. Teck demonstrates true corporate responsibility, caring for their employees and their community.”

**7 am UPDATE** For both the Lizard Range/Flathead and the South Rockies regions. The onset of Monday’s storm is a little earlier and warmer than anticipated. Avoid avalanche terrain and overhead hazard.

Posted by Avalanche Canada South Rockies on Monday, December 21, 2020

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP responded to a call at approximately 7:30 p.m. MST on Thursday. (File photo)
One fatality in Highway 95 vehicle collision

Two more survived the two vehicle incident

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Eva Capozzola (left) is a Golden-based climber who summited Mount Lucania with Pascale Marceau (right). To their knowledge, they are the first all-women team to reach the 5,226 metre summit in the Yukon. 
(Eva Capozzola photo)
All-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

The pair compared climbing to a spiritual journey, more than physical one

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read