Avalanche risks are high after new snowfall

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
February 23rd, 2013

Warnings for caution in the Kootenay Boundary back country for snow enthusiasts are high this weekend.

With a lot of variation in the snowpack around the region, the Canadian Avalanche Centre advises that wind and new snow have increased the avalanche danger considerably.


At the time of writing, 10-30 cm of snow overlies weak interfaces buried in mid-February explained Penny Goddard, public avalanche forecaster with the center.


By Saturday morning, there may be a deeper storm slab above these interfaces, with the potential for wide propagations and surprisingly large avalanches.

Where winds have shifted the snow into slabs in the lee of terrain breaks, the size and likelihood of avalanches will be greatest.


“I feel that the snowpack is approaching a tipping point in this region, and may follow the pattern observed further north last week (numerous skier-triggered avalanches, including a few surprising remote-triggers on the mid-Feb weaknesses). Exactly when and where a cohesive storm slab will develop will vary locally according to the distribution of buried weaknesses and the amount of snowfall and wind,” Goddard said in her forecast on Friday.


Older snowpack weaknesses buried in the upper snowpack (Feb 4 and Jan 23 surface hoar/facet/sun crust layers) are still being tracked by professionals but have not been reactive recently. The lower snowpack is generally well settled, Goddard concluded.


Body recovered in Revelstoke Avalanche


The body the deceased skier in yesterday’s Greely Lake avalanche was safely removed today by Revelstoke Search and Rescue.

Revelstoke RCMP confirm body the deceased skier in Friday’s Greely Lake avalanche was safely removed Saturday by Revelstoke Search and Rescue.

The skier was killed in an avalanche which occurred in the Greely Lake area, well outside of the controlled area boundaries of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Friday afternoon.

Three skiers of a group were buried, with two rescued uninjured by others in the group with the third located deceased.

Revelstoke RCMP  said the name of the skier would be released Monday.

Categories: General