A special avalanche warning has been issued for many backcountry slopes in east B.C. and parts of Alberta.

Avalanche Canada said increased temperatures in the forecast and the first big warm-up of the season will destabilize the snowpack.

The warning is in effect for a number of areas, including:

  • North Rockies
  • Cariboos
  • Jasper National Park
  • Banff, Yoho, & Kootenay National Parks
  • Kananaskis Country
  • South Rockies
  • Lizard & Flathead
  • Waterton Lakes National Park

“There are persistent weak layers in the snowpack all across this area,” explained Karl Klassen, Warning Service Manager for Avalanche Canada. “When the sun and these high temperatures hit this complex snowpack, it’s going to have a destabilizing effect that will make natural and human-triggered avalanches much more likely.”

The warning for backcountry uses visiting those areas will be in effect over the weekend.

“There have been several close calls reported recently, and the Rocky Mountain National Parks report large avalanches running the full extent of their paths. “There is a lot of uncertainty with these weak layers,” said Klassen. “These warm temperatures are going to be a concern across all these regions, with the most significant impact in the south.”

More: Avalanche forecast map (Avalanche Canada)