Special public avalanche warning issued in BC and Alberta

With temperatures set to rise, Avalanche Canada is warning the public to be very cautious about any backcountry activities due to the risk of avalanches.

A special public avalanche warning was issued Monday morning for many parts of British Columbia and mountainous areas of Alberta.

The warning covers areas such as the south coast and northwest areas of British Columbia, a portion of Vancouver Island, the Cariboos, Purcells and several national parks.

The avalanche danger is currently considered high or considerable around the Avalanche Canada forecast area.

The organization said as the weather warms up significantly, the risk of avalanches will also increase.

“This is the first big warming to hit our snowpack,” said senior avalanche forecaster Grant Helgeson.

“The temperatures are forecast to increase substantially this week, with no nighttime cooling. This will weaken the snowpack… increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well as making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers.”

Avalanche Canada is recommending those thinking of heading into the backcountry to check the avalanche forecast and make sure each person has the necessary safety equipment and could deploy it if needed.

“Those heading to the mountains to snowshoe or explore the front country should also be aware that many popular summer trails are exposed to avalanche terrain. Plan ahead and research your route to make sure you are avoiding these areas,” Avalanche Canada said in a media release.

The warning comes after a natural avalanche came down on the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday outside of Revelstoke, closing the highway for hours.

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