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

Vees rout Smoke Eaters 7-2

Penticton is up 2-0 in best-of-seven playoff series

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

Researcher’s quest for information on Trail airman garners response

Aircraftman 1st Class John Dunlop McVie was killed in action over Germany in 1944

Greater Trail police officer involved in Highway 3B crash

The accident happened Wednesday night at the Waneta Plaza lights

No dedicated parking for the Riverfront Centre

Trail council opted to retain long term parking in the lot across the street from the new complex

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read