Avalanche Canada is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users in BC’s South Coast and Vancouver Island regions. This warning is an extension from one that was issued on January 28 and will be in effect until February 4.
Forecasters continue to be concerned about a buried weak layer that is generally not found in this warmer climate. The recent snowfall has now put a greater load on that layer, which means it is deeper in the snowpack. When this weak layer is triggered, the resulting avalanche could be deadly.
“As we said in the original warning, this persistent weak layer is a concern because it is not typical for this region,” explains Avalanche Canada forecaster Kate Devine. “In the rugged terrain of the North Shore Mountains and the popular backcountry areas of Vancouver Island, there are lots of places where this layer is a really big problem. We urge all recreational backcountry users to be extra diligent in their route finding and give yourselves a large margin for error when travelling in any type of avalanche terrain.”
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.