British Columbia

Avalanche risk continues in parts of B.C. due to weak snowpack

A backcountry skier was buried by a human-triggered avalanche near Whistler on Monday, but rescued by others, Avalanche Canada said in an online post.

Large, human-triggered avalanches were reported near Whistler on Monday

Two small skier-triggered avalanches are seen in this file photo taken near the Alberta-British Columbia border. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Avalanche Canada has lifted a recent warning about the extreme potential for slides on eastern B.C. mountains, but backcountry users are urged to remain cautious because of weak snowpack layers across the province.

Areas of avalanche concern include the Purcell range in the southeast, Cariboo Mountains in central B.C., and slopes around the Sea-to-Sky region north of Vancouver.

The forecaster reported large, human-triggered avalanches Sunday along sections of the Cariboo Mountains near Valemount, and Monday on Rainbow Mountain, near Whistler.

In the Rainbow Mountain event, Avalanche Canada said in an online post that a skier was completely buried but successfully rescued by others.

Avalanche experts say several human-triggered slides around the treeline happened Sunday northwest of Valemount as weak snow layers at lower elevations raised the risk to considerable.

Multiple weak layers at several depths of the snowpack have also raised the slide risk to considerable in the alpine and treeline of the Purcell range outside Golden, with conditions unlikely to improve until Friday.

The Avalanche Canada reports come as Environment Canada issued a winter storm watch for the Sea-to-Sky corridor between Squamish and Whistler.

Forecasters are calling for as much as 20 centimetres of heavy, wet snow at elevations above 200 metres between late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

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