Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning for recreational backcountry in the Kootenay Boundary and other parts of BC and Alberta.
“Our main concern is a critical weak layer buried about 60 cm below the snow surface throughout these regions,” explains James Floyer, forecasting program supervisor for Avalanche Canada.
“This layer is deep enough to produce large avalanches, yet shallow enough to be triggered by a human or machine. The forecast of warm temperatures and sun will contribute to this problem this weekend.”
This weak layer is most active at treeline elevation, where the forest opens up and gives way to the alpine and many good riding options exist, Floyer says. Backcountry users are encouraged to stick to simple terrain and to avoid grouping up in places threatened by avalanches from above.
“Under the current conditions, sparsely treed slopes do not provide protection from avalanches and could be even more dangerous due to the risk of being swept into trees,” Floyer says.
“Lower angled slopes or densely forested areas, where the tree canopies are touching, will be better choices as long as they are not threatened by steep slopes from above.”
The avalanche hazard in the Kootenay Boundary is rated at considerable today at all elevations.