Today’s Poll

Dangerous avalanche conditions persist in backcountry

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
January 17th, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Avalanche danger in the West Kootenay backcountry at or above the tree line is still rated as considerable, according to the Canadian Avalanche Centre.

Conditions are very dangerous and travel in the backcountry is not recommended, according to the report filed by CAC’s Peter Marshall on Sunday.

He said buried weak layers of snow exist in the snow pack and the oncoming storms could trigger deep and heavy avalanches.

“Continued snowfall combined with rising temperatures has created upside down snow conditions,” he said in his report. “This has resulted in a dense slab overlying a weak surface hoar layer – prime slab avalanche conditions.”

Avalanches starting in the storm snow could step down to one of the deeper layers, or they could wake up with additional loading or heavy triggers. 

Marshall warned that mild temperatures, continued precipitation and moderate-strong ridge top winds are keeping the avalanche danger elevated.

“Backcountry travel is not recommended without professional level guidance and safety systems,” he said.

Weather forecast

Monday: Light snow in the morning, clearing in the afternoon; 5-10 centimetres. Freezing level dropping from 1,800 metres to around 1,300 m. Winds are moderate to strong from the southwest.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Mainly cloudy with occasional sunny breaks. Freezing level lowering to valley bottom. Winds are moderate from the northwest.


Categories: General

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