An avalanche warning for most inland regions including the Kootenay-Boundary is in effect until later this week.
Avalanche Canada issued a press release before Christmas warning backcountry users that recent snowfalls coupled with winds and warm temperatures has placed a heavy load on a fragile snowpack.
“The wild swings in weather this season have left a mix of smooth crusts and persistent weak layers in our snowpack,” Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Forecaster Joe Lammers said. “This complex snowpack has the potential to surprise backcountry users with large avalanches even though riding conditions will be good.”
The avalanche warning is in effect for the North Rockies, Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Kootenay-Boundary, Purcells, South Rockies, Lizard and Flathead, and South Coast Inland regions.
Backcountry users are being advised to stay on simple, low-angle terrain and to avoid large, steep slopes while minimizing any exposure to overhead hazards. Avalanche Canada is also advising backcountry users to avoid travelling while other users are on slopes above and to re-group in safe zones away from avalanche run-outs until conditions improve. For an up to date forecast, visit www.avalanche.ca.