January 21, 2016 9:49 am
Updated: January 21, 2016 11:49 pm

Avalanche rating raised to ‘considerable’ on North Shore mountains

WATCH: There are serious warnings about the avalanche risk on the South Coast. Catherine Urquhart has more on what areas are included and excluded, and meteorologist Mark Madryga has a closer look at the risk.


The current wet weather in the Lower Mainland is causing some concerns on the local mountains.

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Avalanche Canada has elevated the latest danger rating to ‘considerable’ for the North Shore mountains with officials saying heavy rains could cause slides in steep terrain. A ‘considerable’ rating is defined as dangerous avalanche conditions and Avalanche Canada says during these conditions it’s essential that people need to use a careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making. Additionally natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered avalanches are likely.

Mike Danks with North Shore Rescue says the heavy rainfall that Lower Mainland has been experiencing can cause instability, which can trigger very large avalanches.

“Our message is stay out of the backcountry,” says Danks. “This is a great day to stay home and tune up your equipment.”

Danks says the warning does not extend to local ski hills, because in-bound trail conditions are controlled by the resorts.

In the Sea-to-Sky area, the rating is extreme to high with mountain forecasters believing the area is primed for a large and widespread avalanche cycle. They’re describing the weather as a Pineapple Express Light.

Avalanche Canada says Thursday “is a day to wait out the storm from a safe place.”

Observers are also noting signs of instability in the area, like cracking snow.

MAP: Sea-to-Sky Avalanche Rating

Conditions are ripe for an impressive avalanche cycle.

Avalanche Canada
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