REVELSTOKE – The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) is urging backcountry recreationists to avoid aggressive, unsupported avalanche terrain throughout the weekend. Areas of heightened concern are the Valhallas and mountains surrounding Slocan Lake, and the Kootenay Boundary, southern Purcells, and South Rockies regions.
“While we expect to see fewer natural avalanches, tricky conditions persist and there is serious potential for human-triggered avalanches,” says Senior Avalanche Forecaster James Floyer. “The temperature variations we experienced this past week have made avalanches harder to trigger in some regions but many colder, north-facing slopes are still prone to human triggering, especially in the southern part of the province.”
The CAC advises recreational backcountry users to remain very conservative in their terrain choices, and stick to more moderate terrain. “If you trigger this layer, you are guaranteed to get a big avalanche,” adds Floyer. “Even if you see others riding steep terrain with no consequence, it doesn’t make it a good decision to do the same.”
Everyone in a backcountry party needs to carry an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel and be well practiced with their rescue skills. The CAC strongly recommends that backcountry users take an Avalanche Skills Training course, and check the avalanche bulletin regularly to keep informed of conditions in their area. More detailed information is also available on the CAC blogs and forecasts at www.avalanche.ca/cac.