Today’s Poll

Moderate weekend greets backcountry users

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
April 9th, 2011

A moderate two days in the backcountry this weekend doesn’t mean the West Kootenay winter has released the slopes from its icy grip just yet.

Although it’s April, the region is still experiencing winter storms reminiscent of February, said Canadian Avalanche Centre’s Penny Goddard.

“Don’t let your guard down, avalanche season is still in full swing,” she said in her weekend report. “Always travel with someone who has training and make sure you are each carrying a transceiver, shovel and probe — and know how to use them.”

Shifting winds have created wind slabs on many slopes, she said, and cornices are large and could trigger an avalanche on the slope below.

Direct sun or rapid warming is likely to trigger loose snow avalanches. Slab avalanches are also more likely as temperatures rise.

Saturday will see increasing cloud cover with some light snowfall possible in the evening. On Sunday it changes to locally moderate snowfall in the afternoon. However, Monday will see snowfall easing though the day as the storm passes.

Numerous loose snow and soft slab avalanches in the size one to two range were triggered naturally, by skiers and by explosives over the last few days, mostly on wind-loaded slopes.

Up to 80 centimetres of recent snow overlies previous storm snow above 1,900 metres and a crust below about 1,900 m.


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