Storms triggering avalanches

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for recreational backcountry users now through Monday.

Weight of new snow from three weeks of storms has triggered many large avalanches in recent days.

“The pattern of avalanche activity is expected to change beginning Friday, when the current storm breaks and a shift from widespread naturally triggered avalanches to more sporadic activity is expected,” said the warning.

The Lizard Range, Flathead, South Rockies, Purcells, Kootenay Boundary, South and North Columbia, Cariboo, and North Rockies are under the warning.

A special public warning was also issued for Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Jasper and Mount Revelstoke Glacier National Parks and Alberta Parks Kananaskis Country on Thursday by Parks Canada.

Senior avalanche forecaster Mark Bender said people might be surprised by how easily an avalanche can be triggered and how far it could run.

“The decrease in natural avalanches coupled with improved weather and the long weekend is a classic situation where skiers and snowmobilers venture into more aggressive terrain where they might trigger avalanches themselves or be struck from above,” said Bender.

During the last couple of weeks, there have been numerous surprises and near misses. A fatal incident occurred between Blue River and Valemount on Jan. 30.

“While danger ratings might come down on the weekend, lingering hazard will exist on most aspects and elevations for several days after the storm breaks,” said Bender.

For updates on conditions visit this link

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