British Columbia

Avalanche warning issued for North Rockies

Avalanche Canada is advising backcountry enthusiasts looking for some weekend fun in northeastern B.C. to take extra caution as conditions are ripe for avalanches.

Avalanches remain a possibility in steep backcountry terrain throughout the province, Avalanche Canada says

Avalanche Canada says warm weather and fresh snow on top of a weak snowpack means elevated avalanche risk in much of the province. (David Cote)

Avalanche Canada is advising backcountry enthusiasts looking for some weekend fun in northeastern B.C. to take extra caution as conditions are ripe for avalanches.

James Floyer, supervisor of Avalanche Canada's forecasting program, says warm weather and new snowfall on top of a relatively shallow existing snowpack has much of the region's steep slopes ready to give way on unsuspecting skiers and snowmobilers.

"There's plenty of places that you can go and ride quite safely, but it is all about selecting more simple terrain," Floyer said. "It's not the time to go into the real steep, aggressive big mountain bowls."

Communities in and around the affected region include Prince George, McBride, Valemount and Tumbler Ridge. Floyer says the region often gets visitors from Grande Prairie in Alberta as well.

Floyer says anyone planning backcountry travel through the region should be extra careful to avoid travelling on or under avalanche-prone terrain. In particular, Floyer recommends avoiding slopes steeper than 35 degrees, slopes featuring convex rolls and any gullies beneath such slopes where the snow could pile up.

Elevated risk around province

Meanwhile, avalanche risk remains high on the South Coast, but Floyer expects the danger to decrease in coming days as temperatures dip.

Parks Canada currently rates the avalanche danger in Glacier National Park, including Rogers Pass, as "considerable" both at and above the treeline.

Parks Canada says danger is also considerable in alpine terrain in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, though that is expected to drop to moderate by Saturday.

Up-to-date avalanche forecasts can be found on Avalanche Canada's website, though Floyer cautioned that some more remote regions, including the North Rockies, are not updated daily.

This map provided by Avalanche Canada shows the regions with major avalanche risk. (Avalanche Canada)

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