Potential for huge avalanches this weekend

Avalanche Canada issued a special public avalanche warning which includes the Rockies and the Purcells.

Avalanche Canada issued a special public avalanche warning which includes the Rockies and the Purcells that will be in effect from Friday, Nov. 28 to Monday, Dec. 1.

The warning comes as strong winds and warm temperatures bring high avalanche danger to the regions.

“In many parts of the B.C. Interior we’ve had over a meter of snowfall in the past week,” Joe Lammers, public avalanche forecaster at the Avalanche Canada. “This new snow is overlying some of the weak crystals that formed during the recent dry cold spell that every one remembers.”

He suspects much of the backcountry is in the midst of a natural avalanche cycle, with the potential for large destructive avalanches in many regions.

The weekend weather is supposed to break with clear skies and cool weather.

“Natural avalanche activity will likely taper off and the warning signs will be less obvious,” he said. “That said I’m certain human triggered avalanches will still be a very real possibility.

“I should point out that the avalanches we could see could be large enough to destroy a truck.”

Areas the avalanche centre is especially concerned about include Caribous, the North Columbia, the South Columbia, the Purcells and the Lizard Flathead.

“I would hedge my bets and suspect that the Kootenay-Boundary region, the South Rockies and the North Rockies should at least be on our radar,” he said.

Lammers said they don’t have steady data streams coming from those areas, which makes it difficult to predict the danger. Another problem he mentioned is the variability from region to region.

“It’s just really important for people to be aware of their localized danger,” he said. “And when in doubt just reel it back. The snowpack structure is complicated at this point. My advice to backcountry travellers is if you’re heading to the backcountry, I would just stick to low-angle terrain. I’d watch your overhead hazards. I wouldn’t regroup in the run-out zone of the avalanche slide paths.”

Lammers encouraged people to take it easy this weekend.

“If you have a bad feeling about the terrain that your group is heading into, I’d speak up,” he said. “It’s a long season with lots of great riding ahead of us. You’ll want to be around to enjoy it.”

It’s also a good time to brush up on using avalanche gear. He noted each backcountry user must be equipped with essential avalanche safety equipment — an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel.

It is also important that everyone has avalanche training and has practiced using the equipment.

For the avalanche forecast, check www.avalanche.ca. For further thoughts on the current conditions, please read our Forecaster Blog at www.avalanche.ca/blogs.


Just Posted

City council deferred moving forward on a proposed development in Wildstone, requesting a meeting with the developer to get clarification on project details. Photo submitted.
Cranbrook city council debates proposed Wildstone development

Cranbrook city council held off on moving forward with a proposed apartment… Continue reading

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

Cranbrook Arts will finally open the doors to their brand new gallery space on Friday, June 18th, 2021 at 4pm. To see what is behind these doors, be sure to check out the exhibit, Kootenay's Best, running until Labour Day weekend. (Cranbrook Arts file)
Cranbrook Arts’ inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best, opens this Friday

The exhibit features over 50 Kootenay-based artists and will run until Labour Day Weekend

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read