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Special avalanche warning issued for the Elk Valley

The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) has issued a special public avalanche warning for southeast B.C, including the Elk Valley.

“A recent storm dropped a large amount of snow in the area,” said Karl Klassen, Manager of the CAC’s Public Avalanche Warning Service. “The warm and heavy snow has added a significant load to the snowpack. Continuing warm temperatures and additional snowfall have the potential to create large and destructive avalanches, running to valley bottom.”

The CAC is advising all backcountry users to avoid avalanche terrain. “Skiers and snowmobilers should be especially wary of stopping or regrouping in areas exposed to avalanche terrain from above, even in valley bottoms,” said Klassen. “This is not the time to be making aggressive terrain choices.”

This warning includes the mountainous areas from the US border north through Moyie and Cranbrook to Wasa, and east through Sparwood to the Alberta border. This warning is in effect immediately and will extend through the weekend to at least Tuesday March 15.

Every member of a backcountry party needs to be equipped with a shovel, probe and transceiver. The CAC strongly recommends that all backcountry users take an avalanche awareness course. Snowpack stability changes constantly throughout the winter; backcountry users need to check the avalanche bulletin regularly to keep informed of conditions in their area. Avalanche bulletins are can be found at www.avalanche.ca.

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