Avalanche warning issued for B.C.’s south coast, island as weak snowpack persists

Vancouver's North Shore Mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

An avalanche warning has been issued for backcountry users in British Columbia’s south coast and Vancouver Island as unusual snow conditions could increase the possibility of triggering a slide on steeper terrain.

Avalanche Canada says there is a weak layer in the snowpack that is about 50 centimetres deep, prompting a warning until Sunday.

READ MORE: Snowfall warning ended for Metro Vancouver, remains in place for Fraser Valley Friday

It says the next storm forecast for Friday is expected to bring another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow and the remaining weak layer could trigger a deadly avalanche.

The non-profit organization says snowpack tests were conducted as part of an investigation into a recent fatal avalanche on Runner Peak on the North Shore mountains near Vancouver.

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Its warning-program supervisor James Floyer says the snow is not expected to stabilize as usual on coastal mountains in the coming days.

Avalanche Canada is urging people to carry essential rescue gear, including a transceiver, probe and shovel, and know how to use it.

READ MORE: Trans-Canada near Golden, B.C., to temporarily close for avalanche control

“The clearing skies and fresh snow will be very inviting but we are urging backcountry users to be extra cautious during this period,” Floyer says.

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