REVELSTOKE, B.C. — Professional avalanche watchers in B.C. have issued a special public warning about a heightened potential for avalanches across a large swath of the province over the coming days.
Avalanche Canada, based in Revelstoke, B.C., is warning recreational users that danger appears to be high for a series of interior mountain ranges along from Dec. 26 to 30.
The alert covers the North Rockies, Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Kootenay-Boundary, Purcells, South Rockies, Lizard and Flathead and South Coast Inland regions.
Forecaster Joe Lammers says wild swings in weather have laid down a combination of smooth crust over top of persistent weak layers in the snowpack, meaning outdoor enthusiasts could be in for an unwelcome surprise.
He says there have been many natural, small avalanches in recent days that made bad conditions obvious, but people may not realize the increased danger that lies ahead because cracks will be hidden under 60 to 100 centimetres of good powder snow.
Avalanche Canada is recommending that backcountry users stay on simple, low-angle terrain, avoid large and steep slopes, minimize exposure to overhead hazards and avoid travel if other people are trekking across terrain above.