Avalanche Canada warns of increased risk in Kootenays

Avalanche Canada says risk in the Kootenay / Boundary backcountry is considerable at and above treeline and is expected to increase to a high level in the Alps on Thursday as another storm sets in. will bring down.

“Even now, as a benchmark, we’re in pretty high avalanche conditions,” forecaster Ari Hanna said.

“We have two main issues in our hands. The first is the sheer amount of new storm snow that we are seeing arriving. This recent snow is based on a potentially weak interface formed during the cold snap. We expect responsiveness to persist for longer than usual.

“So come on the weekends when the skies are clearing up and everyone wants to go out and enjoy the sun and the new snow, we can still have a reactive storm plate problem on our hands.”

Hanna says the second problem is that all the new snow is adding more load to a deeply buried weak layer which, over the past week and a half, has produced what she calls an “alarming pattern” of large avalanches throughout. the region.

Some of these avalanches were triggered by skiers, “which is quite terrifying for those involved given their size.” While the likelihood of triggering such a slide is low, it has “very significant consequences,” Hanna said, adding that so far this winter everyone has survived.

Large avalanches occurred around Nelson and Rossland. The incoming storm is expected to hit areas west of Castlegar on Thursday and the rest of the region on Friday.

“We have to be vigilant and have this problem in mind when we go to the mountains,” she says.

Avalanche Canada’s latest forecast for the region, released Tuesday, indicates that “conservative terrain selection remains essential” for those venturing into the backcountry.


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