Warm weather makes for ideal avalanche conditions, warn experts
Be prepared if heading into the Alberta, B.C. backcountry
All the warm weather, snow and rain is making for dangerous backcountry conditions.
Avalanche experts are warning those headed out this weekend to be very cautious as conditions are ripe for avalanches.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) says the snowpack is very unstable with snow, rain and warm weather in the mountains.
In the last six days there have been four fatalities because of slides, says CAC’s Public Avalanche Warning Service manager Karl Klassen.
Skiers and snowmobilers need to plan ahead and choose low angle slopes, he said.
“I'd be staying away from terrain where there's large slopes above you and then a swath that comes down through the trees and comes right down to the valley bottom I'd stay out of those places. I would be staying off of steep slopes, I'd be staying off of certainly large slopes,” he said.
Two snowmobilers below the tree line were caught, Klassen warns.
“Because that snow is so warm, and in many cases wet, and the layers that we're concerned about exist at all elevations even in places below tree line if the terrain is steep enough and you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time you could be caught in an avalanche at this point.”
Conditions are expected to stay the same until the weather gets colder and the slopes stabilize, said Klassen.