Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning for the north and south Rockies. The warning includes the East Kootenay region from Kimberley in the east over to Fernie and the Alberta border. It includes the Flathead and Lizard Range as well as the South Rockies.
The warning is in effect immediately and will extend through the weekend. Avalanche Canada will reassess conditions on Monday.
According to Avalanche Canada, a persistent weak layer in the North Rockies has resulted in two recent fatalities. This layer is also the suspected cause of a near-miss incident in the South Rockies, which resulted in very serious injuries. The layer of concern is widespread throughout the province but is most susceptible to human triggering in these regions.
“The next wave of storms is going to make for great riding but will also increase the load on these persistent weak layers, making avalanches even easier to trigger,” said Warning Service Manager Karl Klassen. “This string of fatal and serious incidents should be a wake-up call for all backcountry users, especially in the North and South Rockies. This layer is deep enough that it’s not easily seen, but large and destructive human triggered avalanches are expected.”
Backcountry users should always check their regional avalanche forecasts at www.avalanche.ca. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the knowledge to use it.