Avalanche risk heightened as more snow coming

New snow and some rain is expected to increase the avalanche risk in the West Kootenay to high this week

  • Mar. 13, 2012 12:00 p.m.

New snow and some rain is expected to increase the avalanche risk in the West Kootenay to high this week, in the wake of two separate avalanches on the weekend that killed one Alberta man near Sparwood.

Large, destructive and unmanageable avalanches are still sensitive to natural and human triggering, warned a report Sunday from the Canadian Avalanche Centre.

The man who was killed this weekend was part of a group of seven snowmobilers from Alberta who triggered the avalanche. The second avalanche fatality within a week in B.C. after a 44-year-old man from Squamish was killed near Whistler last Tuesday.

But with up to 50 centimetres of new snow anticipated for the early part of the week, powder hounds and snowmobilers will be tempted to follow the snowfall up into the alpine.

“Stay conservative with terrain choices and don’t let your lust for powder riding lure you into a potentially deadly situation,” the report read.

On Friday, the CAC issued its second warning to recreational backcountry users in two weeks. The warning, which is still in effect, includes the mountains of the South Coast Inland, the Columbia Mountains from near Prince George in the north to the U.S. border in the south and B.C.’s South Rockies.

Right now avalanches are likely to be much bigger than expected, and could be triggered remotely, such as at a distance or from the bottom of a slope.