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Regional Avalanche Dangers Climbing After Snowfall

Avalanche Canada has forecast a heightened risk of avalanche in areas around B.C. and southern Alberta, including the Lizard Range, Flathead and the Purcells.

Avalanche dangers are forecast to be high on Thursday and increase into Friday around the Elk Valley.

“Recent snow combined with moderate winds will result in reactive storm slabs, sensitive to human triggering,” said Avalanche Canada. “Pay attention to steep south-facing slopes if the sun comes out on Thursday.”

The recent snowfall added around 30 cm of new snow to the mountaintops, with freezing rain heightening risks at lower elevations as well.

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In the Purcells, Avalanche Canada said lower snowpacks are not able to shoulder the new snow, with dangers higher in areas where new snow exceeds 25 cm.

“There are multiple problematic weak layers in our snowpack between 70 and 180 cm below the snow surface that continue to produce spectacularly large and destructive avalanches. The weakness and complexity of this snowpack is unique, it’s not something we see every season.”

According to Avalanche Canada, risks will reduce over the weekend, but until then, many slopes around the province are primed to trigger avalanches.

Avalanche Canada advises travellers to avoid high-risk areas until conditions improve.

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