Gateway Gazette

Avalanche Warning Issued for Kananaskis Country

A special avalanche warning for recreational backcountry users has been issued for Friday, Feb. 10 to Monday, Feb. 13.

An avalanche warning has been issued for Kananaskis Country and the region

The areas affected include Kananaskis Country and Waterton Lakes National Park, Avalanche Canada’s South Rockies and Lizard and Flathead regions, as well as the southern part of the Purcells region.

In many areas, a significant recent storm has doubled the depth of the current snowpack. Winds have created dense slabs that lie on a weak base of sugary, faceted snow. More snow, wind and warming temperatures are expected in the coming days before the weather breaks on the weekend.

“Clearing skies and good riding conditions after a long drought are expected to entice people into the mountains. While natural avalanches are tapering off, we’re concerned that human triggering of large avalanches remains possible throughout the weekend.”

Mike Koppang, Kananaskis Public Safety Team

Avalanche Canada, Kananaskis Country and Parks Canada recommend recreational backcountry users with little or no avalanche training or experience avoid avalanche terrain, or undertake activities in which avalanche risk is managed by professionals. Experienced backcountry recreationists are urged to travel on simple terrain such as small, low-angle, well-supported features with no large steep slopes or cornices above.

Although this warning applies to the regions listed above, recreational users are advised to exercise caution as potentially hazardous conditions exist in a number of areas throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Before travelling in the backcountry check Avalanche.ca for current avalanche information.

Everyone in a backcountry party needs to have an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. A two-day Avalanche Skills Training 1 course is the minimum training recommended for travelling in avalanche terrain.

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