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Up-dated Avalanche Warning Includes Waterton

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.

   CAC 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 out.

    For an introduction to avalanche training, take the CAC’s online avalanche course: www.avalanche.ca/cac/training/online-course

Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 4/17/2014 3:41:09 PM
Source: Canadian Avalanche Centre
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