Avalanche Canada issued a special public warning Friday morning for much of B.C.’s mountainous regions.
Backcountry recreational users are urged to heed the advisory that applies to the central interior regions – South Columbia, Kootenay Boundary, Purcells, the Lizard/Flathead region, North Columbia, Cariboos, and Glacier National Park.
Province-wide snow storms have buried a weak layer that is particularly prevalent at lower elevations, explains Jamie Floyer, forecasting program supervisor for Avalanche Canada.
“However, due to the amount of new snow, all elevation bands are potentially hazardous,” Floyer said. “We’ve had a relatively stable snow pack up to this point but that have changed now.”
All those using the back country are urged to recognize the shift and exercise more caution, he added.
“Staying safe in the back country this weekend requires selecting simple, low-angled terrain, even when you’re at lower elevations below treeline.”
The organizations says every person in the back country needs to wear an avalanche receiver in transmit mode and carry a probe and shovel in their pack.
Ensure all equipment is well maintained and in good working order.
According to DriveBC, Highway 3 will be closed in both directions for avalanche control between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday. That encompasses the roadway 30 kilometres (km) west of Creston (Kootenay Pass) for 27 km. The website reminds drivers that an alternate route is available from Nelson to Creston on Highway 3A, Kootenay Lake Ferry.
Other road conditions include compact snow with slippery sections on Highway 22 from B.C. to the border, and 12 km south of Rossland to Rossland.
Those travelling toward the Okanagan, should note compact snow with slippery sections from Castlegar to the Nancy Greene junction and through the Paulson Pass to Christina Lake.
Slushy with slippery sections continue from Grand Forks to Greenwood and through to the Eholt Summit.