Backcountry users must be vary, prepared and trained

Canadian Avalanche Centre urges backcountry recreationalists to be cautious

Darryl Severin knows that safety comes when riding in the backcountry. When he goes sledding

After four avalanche fatalities in the past six days, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) urges backcountry users to make cautious and conservative decisions while in avalanche terrain.

“We’ve been dealt a pretty troublesome snowpack this season and our terrain choices need to reflect that fact,” says CAC’s Public Avalanche Warning Service manager Karl Klassen said on March 13.

“The weak layers we’ve been tracking for many weeks remain a significant problem and areas where you might have felt safe in previous seasons may not be the best choices this winter.”

Two of the recent fatal snowmobile accidents occurred in cut-blocks – areas below tree line cleared by logging companies, Klassen noted.

“Often, riding below tree line can be a safer choice in terms of avalanche danger. But with the current warm temperatures and wet snow at low elevations, that’s not the case at this time.

“Riders need to be wary of avalanche terrain even near valley bottom, at least until a solid freeze occurs.”

Until conditions improve, the CAC recommends travelling on small, simple and low-angle terrain with no terrain traps. Exposure to large slopes and cornices above should also be avoided whenever possible.

It’s also critical that all backcountry users are equipped with essential safety equipment for avalanche terrain, Klassen added.

“Everyone in the party needs an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel every day, regardless of expected conditions. And it’s equally vital that everyone is familiar with has practised using this equipment. If an avalanche occurs, there is no time to go for help.”

The critical window for finding and extricating a victim is just 10 minutes, when there is an 80 per cent chance of survival. The odds drop dramatically after that. At just 35 minutes, there’s a less than 10 per cent chance of survival.

In addition to the essential equipment, airbags are recommended. But as with any piece of safety equipment, it’s vital to have practiced its operation and to ensure it is tested and in good working order before going into avalanche terrain.

For further information on the current conditions, see the CAC Forecaster’s Blog page at: http://blogs.avalanche.ca/category/forecaster-blog/.

The CAC South Rockies blog has excellent posts with video that’s applicable to many other regions of the province: http://blogs.avalanche.ca/category/southrockies/.

 

 

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Hundreds of 100 Mile students and teachers cleaned streets for Earth Day

Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School had over 400 students picking up litter around the village

Significant damage at Child & Family Services after April 22 collision

100 Mile House RCMP believe they have located the vehicle involved, are working to locate the driver

Firearm seized, arrests made along Scott Road

100 Mile House RCMP responded to a firearm complaint on April 23

Summer Festival looking for volunteers and vendors

“There’s lots of time to still get involved” says events coordinator Robyn Angus

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Ministry announces highway road work planned for this spring

Drivers should expect delays to last into the summer

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

“Oona River Poems” captures northwest B.C.’s landscapes

Canadian writer Peter Christensen releases his latest book, will tour the northwest later this year

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Most Read