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3 alpine regions in B.C. Interior at high avalanche risk

A graphic showing Avalanche Canada’s avalanche danger ratings for B.C. on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Alpine Canada

After a wet and stormy Monday, Avalanche Canada is cautioning backcountry users of dangerous avalanche conditions in B.C.’s alpine regions.

From the Rockies through to the South Coast, along with Vancouver Island, all but three alpine regions in those areas are at Level 3 (considerable risk), with the remaining three regions at Level 4 (high).

Alpine regions that had Level 4 conditions were Kootenay-Boundary, Glacier National Park and Lizard-Flathead.

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At Level 4, natural avalanches are likely, with human-triggered avalanches very likely.

In a Tuesday update, Avalanche Canada said backcountry users should avoid travelling above the treeline in regions at Level 4, noting that the Kootenay-Boundary region received 25-plus cm of new snow.

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“New storm and wind slabs will likely form throughout the day on Tuesday,” said Avalanche Canada. “These slabs could be larger and more reactive on lee features on north and east aspects.

“At lower elevations, precipitation could fall as rain, resulting in wet, loose avalanches.”

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In its warning, Avalanche Canada asked backcountry users to “give the storm time to bond to the underlying surfaces.”

In its snowpack summary, Avalanche Canada said new wind and storm slabs will likely form throughout Tuesday.

For the Kootenay Boundary region, Avalanche Canada is predicting Level 2, or moderate, avalanche risks for Wednesday and Thursday.

“We suspect rider-triggerable wind and storm slabs will be found throughout the region on Tuesday,” Avalanche Canada said of the Kootenay Boundary region.

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“Over the past few days, several skier-triggered storm- and wind-slab avalanches up to size 1.5 have been reported. These avalanches have all been at (the) treeline and generally on north aspects.”

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