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Stay safe as avalanche risk rises

The aftermath of a small avalanche that injured a skier near Thar Peak near the Coquihalla Highway this week.
Image Credit: Canadian Avalanche Centre
March 21, 2014 - 4:28 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The avalanche risk remains considerable in the Southern Interior as storm systems dump more snow on top of weakened slabs.

Skier and snowmobiler triggered avalanches in the province have already claimed the lives of several people and injured several more in the past couple weeks and as temperatures heat up we can expect even more avalanches.

In the South Columbia, Kootenay Boundary and North Columbia regions avalanche risk is moderate below the treeline (where there is more likely to be denser forest) but is considerable above the treeline and in alpine areas.

On Wednesday, two skier-triggered avalanches were reported in the South Columbia region, where 30-60 cm of recent storm snow is sitting on top of the compacted interface from mid-March. In the Kootenays 35 cm of snow fell Thursday, adding to the existing storm slab from the weekend and in North Columbia 30-60 cm of recent storm snow has also fallen and some natural sluffing took place Wednesday.

In the South Coast-Inland region, which includes part of the Coquihalla Highway, below the treeline is only a low risk for avalanche, above the treeline is moderate and the risk remains considerable in the alpine areas. In total 50-70 cm of recent storm snow is sitting on a variety of weak layers at the upper elevations. One skier was injured after being carried about 135 m by an avalanche near Thar Peak this week.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre notes risks could increase in all areas once the sun comes out and temperatures rise.

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call 250-819-3723.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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