Avalanche Canada forecasting dangerous conditions in the alpine and treeline areas

Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended this weekend

A snowstorm is brewing and Avalanche Canada is warning the avalanche danger will increase through the day on Friday for the Northwest Inland region.

“It is looking like we are going to see up to 60 cm by Friday evening,” said Avalanche Forecaster Ari Hanna. “The previous storms that had been forecasting high precipitation amounts, they weren’t really hitting the Smithers area— the high recreational use areas around Hudson Bay [Mountain] but this storm is forecasting to hit that area. The winds will be moderate, in the 40 km/hr range and that will blow the snow around and elevate the avalanche hazard.”

Avalanche Canada has set the danger rating for high in the alpine area and considerable for the treeline area for Friday and both high in the alpine and treeline areas for Saturday. This means there are very dangerous avalanche conditions and travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Hanna also said to be aware of the potential for large avalanches due to the presence of buried surface hoar.

“There are some weak layers buried in the snowpack and including the storm snow, they will be about 50 cm to a metre down. The storm’s snow will be a significant load on those weak layers, so there is potential for either the new snow to trigger avalanches on the deeper weak layers or for avalanches in the storm snow, like avalanches are big loads themselves and then those can step down to the weak layers resulting in quite big avalanches,” she added.

She said to use conservative route selection and choose simple, low-angle, well-supported terrain if venturing into the backcountry this weekend.

“For visibility and comfort purposes, I don’t anticipate a lot of people trying to get up super high in the alpine during the storm. But be mindful for overhead hazards from avalanches and stay in the really simple type of terrain,” she said.

Before heading out to ski or sled Hanna recommends taking a safety course.

“There are a variety of courses. Even if people have previous training, a refresher course is a good idea,” she said

She also advised backcountry enthusiasts to take the necessary equipment out with them including an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.

“Be prepared and make sure your partners are prepared as well,” she added. “Even if you have all the training, say you were to be involved in an incident, you would want your partner to have all the training.”

Hanna also recommends checking current conditions on Avalanche Canada’s website before heading out.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Who is or may be running in Stikine in the provincial election

Cullen nomination sparks controversy over NDP equity policy

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Witset releases COVID-19 strategy following three confirmed cases

Plan implements strict measures to contain spread of the virus

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read