Avalanche Canada extends warning to Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks

REVELSTOKE, B.C. – A special avalanche warning is in effect through Monday for wilderness areas across much of the Columbia Mountains in British Columbia as well as the Northern Rockies in B.C. and Alberta.

The warning, which was issued earlier this week, now includes Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks.

It extends from the southern boundaries of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and Kokanee and Valhalla provincial parks to Williston Lake north of Pine Pass and Mackenzie, British Columbia.

Avalanche Canada said a cold, dry start to winter created weak layers in the snowpack.

“The snowpack is currently in a precarious state,” Simon Horton, senior forecaster for Avalanche Canada, said in a statement.

“The storm cycles that hit Western Canada over the past weekend have added a lot of snow in addition to an exceptionally light snowpack. This has brought conditions to a tipping point where dangerous avalanches are likely.

« Although avalanche danger ratings may start to decrease as the weather improves, there will always be a chance of triggering a large avalanche. »

Avalanche Canada said making careful terrain choices can help backcountry skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers manage their risk.

“Stick to lower angle slopes and choosing smaller targets that minimize the consequences of an avalanche are examples of how to reduce risk,” he said in the warning.

The organization said backcountry users should always check avalanche forecasts before heading out. Each member of the group should also wear essential rescue equipment, such as a transceiver, probe and shovel, and know how to use it.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 30, 2022.


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