Avalanche Canada has issued a special public avalanche warning.

Avalanche warning issued for recreational backcountry users

Warning is in effect for local area from December 26 to 30.

  • Dec. 26, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Avalanche Canada has issued  a special public avalanche warning for the North Rockies, Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Kootenay-Boundary, Purcells, South Rockies, Lizard and Flathead, and South Coast Inland regions. This warning applies to recreational backcountry users and is in effect from December 26 to December 30.

Recent snowfalls coupled with winds and warm temperatures has placed a heavy load on a fragile snowpack, explained Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Forecaster Joe Lammers.

“The wild swings in weather this season have left a mix of smooth crusts and persistent weak layers in our snowpack,” said Lammers. “This complex snowpack has the potential to surprise backcountry users with large avalanches even though riding conditions will be good.”

The stormy days leading up to Christmas produced a touchy snowpack that was providing lots of feedback to users—many natural slides and numerous small avalanches easily triggered by human activity. “People were triggering slides even as they approached slopes,” added Lammers. “This made the dangerous conditions obvious. But that sort of feedback is going to change in the coming days, even though the weak layers  are still there buried under 60 – 100cm of good powder snow.”

Avalanche Canada recommends backcountry users stay on simple, low-angle terrain; avoid large, steep slopes; minimize exposure to overhead hazard; avoid travelling where other users are on slopes above; and re-group in safe zones away from avalanche run-outs until conditions improve. If you do not have the training or experience to assess avalanche terrain and local conditions, it’s a good idea to recreate in areas where the avalanche risk is professionally managed.

All backcountry users must be equipped with essential avalanche safety equipment. Everyone in the party needs an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel every day. It’s equally important that everyone has avalanche training and has practiced using this equipment. If an avalanche occurs, the rescue is up to you. There is no time to go for help.

For the avalanche forecast, check www.avalanche.ca.

Just Posted

Nelson candidates debate climate change at forum

Mayoral and council candidates had the chance to speak on five fictional resolutions

UPDATE: Nelson man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, 37, will face mischief and assault charges

Three Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

LETTER: Beware those towing the party line

Reader Bob Malcolmson questions CORE

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Most Read