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Avalanche Canada – With the Warm Weather, Avoid Avalanche Terrain

Revelstoke (with files from Simon Horton, Avalanche Canada)- The first real spring like warm streak is here, and that does pose a risk for hikers.

The coming days are bringing a significant change of weather and a widespread increase in avalanche danger. A combination of existing snowpack instabilities and unseasonably warm weather means the potential for large and dangerous avalanches.

Most of western Canada has been entrenched in a pattern of large human-triggered avalanches since the start of March. The culprit of these persistent slab avalanches is a weak layer above a crust that formed in early February. The behaviour of these avalanches is alarming, with many being triggered remotely, releasing in low angle terrain, and starting part way down slopes. These avalanches have persisted almost daily throughout March, despite the layer getting buried deeper and deeper.

Avalanche Canada strongly recommend the following precautions:

  • Choose activities or routes that do not require exposure to avalanche terrain.
  • Avoid crossing below avalanche paths, including valley bottom trails that pass through runouts.
  • Remember that many avalanches have been triggered remotely from low angle terrain.

It’s a straightforward message – avoid avalanche terrain.

Search and Rescue teams are prepared for a busy weekend.

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