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February 10, 2019

Avalanche Canada – Heads Up

Avalanche Canada and Glacier National Park have issued a special public avalanche warning, in effect immediately until the end of the weekend. The text of the warning follows. 

Special Public Avalanche Warning for BC’s Interior Mountain Ranges
 
Feb 7, 2019, Revelstoke, BC: Avalanche Canada is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users, in effect immediately until the end of day Sunday, February 10. The warning applies to the following regions: North Rockies, Cariboos, North & South Columbia, Glacier National Park, Purcells, South Rockies and the Lizard Range. For a map of the regions involved, click here.
 
The issue in these regions is a weak layer at lower elevations, which means the snowpack at and below treeline is more dangerous than the alpine. Forecasters are concerned this unusual situation may catch some backcountry recreationists off guard. Many close-calls involving this layer have been reported over the past few days and with the coming weekend, more people will be heading out into the mountains.
 
“With this layer, the trees are not the safe haven they normally are,” explains Senior Avalanche Forecaster Grant Helgeson. “And identifying avalanche terrain in these lower elevations can be difficult. You need to be aware of smaller slopes like cutblocks, roadcuts, gullies or even just openings in the trees. This is where the weak layer will be a problem and where it’s primed for human-triggered avalanches.”
 
Avalanche Canada is warning backcountry users to use safe travel techniques and avoid avalanche terrain at and below treeline in the regions covered by this warning. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe and shovel—and know how to use it. Always check the current avalanche conditions at www.avalanche.ca.
 
 
For more information, contact:
 
Mary Clayton                                                 
Communications Director, Avalanche Canada                                 
250.837.2141 (109)                                                                
250.837.1492                                                                         
mclayton@avalanche.ca
This message is private and confidential. It’s intended only for recipients approved by Avalanche Canada’s trusted industry and public safety partners. If you have received this email in error, delete it and contact the sender. The information contained in this email should not be shared with the public or other agencies/organizations. Heads up information is often preliminary and unconfirmed, but it may be useful for the purposes of readying a communications strategy in case of media interest, adjusting worker safety plans, and preparing public safety messaging. If you are a recipient, sharing within your organization or among your constituents may be appropriate and beneficial but please exercise caution. If this information has been forwarded to you via your employer, agency, or organization please be aware of the preliminary nature and potential sensitivity of the information, never share with the public, and do not share or forward this to others without prior approval. Comments, concerns, or questions should be addressed to: Karl Klassen, Warning Service Manager, Avalanche Canada: kklassen@avalanche.ca, 250-814-8981.