The Canadian Avalanche Centre has issued a special avalanche warning for most of B.C., including the Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge areas.
The warning applies to the North Rockes (including areas around MacKenzie, Chetwynd, Pine Pass, Tumbler Ridge and Kakwa Provincial Park).
The main concern is weak layers deeply buried in the snowpack. With up to two metres of new snow sitting on a fragile layer. CAC Public Avalanche Warning Services Manager Karl Klassen says “That new snow is starting to settle so natural avalanche activity is slowing down. Without natural avalanches as a warning sign, and with the settled snow offering easier traveling conditions, backcountry users may be tempted to push into more aggressive terrain, which could be a deadly choice.”
The Canadian Avalanche Centre is urging all recreational backcountry users to stay away from large, steep and complex slopes.
If you do go into the backcountry, stick to small, simple terrain below tree line and stay out of the avalanche runout zones.
Everyone in the party needs an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel and at least basic avalanche training. Group leaders need advanced training and everyone should check the current conditions at www.avalanche.ca before heading out.