Special Avalanche Warning issued by Avalanche Canada

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Avalanche Canada is once again sending out a Special Public Avalanche Warning.

The warning is from Friday, January 20th to the end of the day on  Monday, January 23rd and was issued for the North Rockies, the northern section of the Cariboos and the northern tip of the North Columbia region.

Avalanche Canada says with the recent warm weather and the new snow, it has caused a dense “slab” layer, which is resting on a very weak base. They say this causes a very unstable snowpack and riders could easily trigger large avalanches.

“It was unusually cold and dry in this region through December and early January, giving the area a very thin and weak snowpack,” says James Floyer, Forecasting Program Supervisor for Avalanche Canada. “We have been anticipating this problem for a while and now it’s here. This week’s warmer temperatures and new snow have created a very dangerous situation for backcountry users.”

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Floyer goes on to say that riders need to make smart choices this weekend.

“This problem can be managed through good terrain choices,” adds Floyer. “Human triggered avalanches in this region will be likely this weekend. With these conditions, it’s vital that riders make conservative choices in their riding.”

Avalanche Canada recommends that everyone in a backcountry party should have an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. A two-day Avalanche Skills Training 1 course is the minimum training recommended for travelling in avalanche terrain. For current conditions, check www.avalanche.ca.

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