Rocky Mountain Region: The Canadian Avalanche Centre has issued a special warning for numerous areas
of south-east B-C and extending into Waterton Lakes.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) has issuied a special avalanche warning
for most of the mountainous regions of south and central BC. The warning
includes the Columbia Mountains from the US border to Prince George; the North
Rockies, north and east of Prince George; the Southern Rockies including the
Mountain National Parks (Rogers Pass, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper and
Waterton Lakes); and Kananaskis Country. For a map of the
warning area, go to www.avalanche.ca/spaw/2011-01-21.
Public Avalanche Warning Services Manager Karl Klassen says the main concern is
weak layers deeply buried in the snowpack. “The nature of these layers is a bit
of a mixed bag,” he explains. “Different regions have different problems but the
fundamental concern applies across the board—there’s up to two metres of new
snow sitting on some kind of fragile layer. That new snow is starting to settle
so natural avalanche activity is slowing down. Without natural avalanches as a
warning sign, and with the settled snow offering easier traveling conditions,
backcountry users may be tempted to push into more aggressive terrain, which
could be a deadly choice.”
The CAC is urging all recreational backcountry
users to stay away from large, steep and complex slopes. When triggered,
avalanches are expected to be large, often running much farther than expected.
Avoid avalanche terrain in the alpine. If you do go into the backcountry, stick
to small, simple terrain below treeline and stay out of avalanche run-out zones.
Everyone in the party needs an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel and at least
basic avalanche training. Group leaders need advanced training and everyone
should check the current conditions at avalanche.ca before heading