‘Life Threatening’ Avalanche Warning for the British Columbia Backcountry this Weekend

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A map of B.C. shows the areas where special warnings have been issued. Credit: Avalanche Canada

Avalanche warnings have been issued for huge areas of BC’s backcountry after major storms dumped feet of snow in parts of the province. The special public warnings from Avalanche Canada were made Thursday afternoon for the Lizard Range and Flathead, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, North Rockies, South and North Columbia, Cariboos, Vancouver Island, Sea-to-Sky, South Coast, South Coast inland and northwest Coastal regions, reports CBC.

They come after a series of storms that have brought significant amounts of snow. Following a drought through late November and early December, the snow is not sticking well to the ground.
“Our main concern is that we are expecting the weather to clear on Saturday,” James Floyer, senior avalanche forecaster for Avalanche Canada. “After all this rain in the valleys, backcountry users are going to want to hit the alpine, but that’s where the danger is greatest. There’s a very weak layer now buried anywhere between 60 and 150 centimeters. Any slide triggered on that layer will definitely be life-threatening.”
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Serious avalanches are possible in much of BC this weekend. Credit: BC Ministry of Transportation

Officials say anyone accessing higher elevation terrain in the backcountry should be particularly careful, including skiers and snowboarders going out of bounds and snowmobilers riding at or above the treeline. The warnings will be in effect until the end of Sunday.

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