Avalanche risk increases this week

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
January 14th, 2011

Risk of avalanche has increased to high across the Boundary – Kootenay regions at every level of terrain and travellers are being warned to avoid avalanche territory. Instead the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) recommends that winter enthusiasts hit their local ski hill or stick to simple terrain like large meadows or dense forests.  This week new storm snow sits on a buried layer of surface hoar and loose dry snow. Recent storm snows have been impacted by strong winds and there are also several buried crust layers in the snowpack.  “Relatively harmless natural avalanches were reported on Wednesday on all aspects in the alpine,” says James Floyer, public forecaster with the CAC in a recent bulletin. “The new snow is bonding poorly to existing snow surfaces. I expect the size and distribution of natural activity to increase as the storm progresses. There were reports of several size one and two avalanches triggered by skiers on Tuesday.”  While size one avalanches are relatively harmless to people, a size two avalanche should injure or kill someone as defined by the CAC. There was a class four avalanche in the Monashees just last weekend.  The CAC is recommending that travellers also minimize congregating in run-out areas as the predicted avalanches have a high probability of travelling their full course at this time and you may not see it being triggered. 

To see photos of the Monashee avalanche click here:


Categories: GeneralSports