A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.

Avalanche danger ratings high across Kootenays

Monday’s snow storm is expected to bring an avalanche cycle

Avalanche danger ratings are high across the Kootenay-Boundary region and Monday’s snowfall is expected to cause an avalanche cycle to occur.

According to Avalanche Canada forecasts for Tuesday, December 22, danger levels are high in the alpine territory as well as the treeline and below the treeline.

READ MORE: Winter storm warning in effect for East Kootenay region

Danger ratings are expected to drop down to considerate on Wednesday, however Avalanche Canada is warning of changing conditions.

The snowpack summary from Avalanche Canada says that Monday’s snow storm will continue to load a weak layer around 30 to 60 centimetres deep.

“Riders have reported substantial avalanche activity and whumphing on this layer as well as surprising snowpack test results,” reads the bulletin. “This layer remains a major concern, as humans may be able to trigger large and destructive avalanches on it.”

Avalanche Canada says that travel in alpine terrain at this time is not recommended. Dangers are expected to remain high in the Lizard Range, Flathead Range, Purcells and South Rockies regions.

“It’s now time for very cautious mountain travel. The central and northern part of the (Purcell) region is primed for human-triggered avalanches. More snow is on the way and conditions are not going to get better in the near term,” reads the forecast for the Purcell range.

Conditions are getting worse. Please be aware of the terrain hazards prior to heading out. This report is for the Purcell Mountains.

Posted by Kimberley Search and Rescue on Monday, December 21, 2020

A notice from Avalanche Canada for the South Rockies region says to avoid all avalanche terrain during periods of heavy loading from new snow and wind.

“Shooting cracks, whumphs and recent avalanches are strong indicators of an unstable snowpack,” says the notice. “Storm slabs in motion may step down to deeper layers resulting in large avalanches.”

According to a Facebook post from Avalanche Canada South Rockies, the avalanche danger was obvious in the Lakit area on Sunday.

“We could hear whumpfing sounds as the snow was collapsing under our feet and we triggered a few slab avalanches on steeper terrain just by walking on nearby low angle terrain,” reads the post. “The snow underneath the 30 cm of fresh snow is weak right now and will likely stay that way for awhile.”

Avalanche Canada also recently put out a press release thanking Teck for a decade of support. For ten years, Teck has sponsored Avalanche Canada, enabling the organization to continue to transform avalanche safety.

Teck’s sponsorship led directly to the creation of the South Rockies field team, says the press release. This team gathers snowpack information that is used to produce the daily forecasts for the South Rockies and Lizard/Flathead Ranges.

“Teck is one of our most important sponsors,” says Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada. “Over the years they have contributed a total of $840,000, allowing us to develop and deliver effective and stable programs for the South Rockies and Flathead regions. Teck demonstrates true corporate responsibility, caring for their employees and their community.”

**7 am UPDATE** For both the Lizard Range/Flathead and the South Rockies regions. The onset of Monday’s storm is a little earlier and warmer than anticipated. Avoid avalanche terrain and overhead hazard.

Posted by Avalanche Canada South Rockies on Monday, December 21, 2020

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Image: Castleview Care Centre’s Safety Den presentation
Castlegar’s Castleview Care Centre wins safety innovation competition

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was sponsored by Safecare BC

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read