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Avalanche warning issued for large area of B.C.

Avalanche risk is high across much B.C. this week.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK
March 18, 2019 - 12:14 PM

Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to those considering heading into the backcountry as the expected sudden increase in temperatures will increase the number of avalanches throughout the mountains of western Canada. 

Avalanche Canada says in a media release issued today, March 18, that a Special Public Avalance Warning is in effect immediately for large large areas of B.C. and Alberta. The dramatic rise in temperatures increases the chances of avalanches throughout the mountains at a time when the warm weather will mean more people heading into the backcountry for spring break in B.C.

"This is the first big warming to hit our snowpack, which is still fairly complex and winter-like,” senior avalanche forecaster Grant Helgeson says in the release. "Any time the snowpack is hit with a big change, it tends to de-stabilize. The temperatures are forecast to increase substantially this week, with no nighttime cooling. This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers."

The warning, which was issued by Avalanche Canada in partnership with Parks Canada and Kananaskis Country in Alberta warns all backcountry users, including those going outside ski-area boundaries, to keep careful track of their regional avalanche forecasts, which can be found here.

Avalanche Canada says everyone venturing into the backcountry must have the essential rescue gear of a transceiver, probe and shovel, and know how to use it. The media release also states even those going to snowshoe in the front country should be aware many trails are exposed to avalanche terrain and to avoid these areas. 

Avalanche Canada's map of the areas currently under an avalanche warning.
Avalanche Canada's map of the areas currently under an avalanche warning.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Avalanche Canada

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