Forecast warm temperatures coupled with recent snowfall have prompted the Canadian Avalanche Centre to issue a special avalanche warning for southern B.C., including the Sea to Sky Corridor.
The warning, which is in effect from Friday (Jan. 17) to Monday (Jan. 21), applies to recreational backcountry users, CAC officials said in a statement issued on Thursday (Jan. 16).
“The main concern is sun and warm, possibly record-breaking temperatures that will destabilize a complex and highly variable snowpack leading to surface slides,” the warning stated.
“In addition to smaller surface slides during the coming warm spell, we have the potential for very large natural and human-triggered avalanches failing deep in the snowpack throughout the weekend,” said Karl Klassen, CAC public avalanche warning service manager.
“We're concerned about 'blue sky syndrome' this weekend. It's common to have a false sense of security in good weather, and this weekend, that could lead to underestimating the hazard.”
CAC officials urged those with little or no avalanche training or experience to avoid avalanche terrain, or “to undertake activities in which avalanche risk is managed by professionals,” the warning stated.
Experienced backcountry users were urged to travel on simple terrain such as small, low-angle or well-supported features with no large, steep slopes or cornices above. When the sun is out, any sort of avalanche terrain should be avoided, the warning stated.
For up-to-date avalanche hazard information, visit avalanche.ca/cac