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Backcountry Avalanche Warning issued for Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks

LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA, April 30, 2013 – Parks Canada is issuing a special avalanche warning for Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks. Outdoor enthusiasts are strongly recommended to avoid avalanche areas by restricting their travel to simple terrain or within the boundaries of a ski resort. Current avalanche danger in alpine areas is moderate though that is expected to climb to high as the week progresses and temperatures increase.

April has been a cooler than normal month, and as a result, a winter snowpack still prevails in the alpine. With incoming warm temperatures, avalanche forecasters are predicting a very productive spring avalanche cycle. At this time of year, and under these conditions, avalanches have the potential to reach some popular summer hiking trails (e.g. The Plain of Six Glaciers, Sulphur Mountain, Castle Mountain, Fairview, Lake Agnes, Cory Pass, etc).

It’s expected that the snowpack heading into this weekend will be extremely reactive to human-triggered and naturally caused avalanches at all elevations.

Reduce your risk: 

  • Avoid all avalanche terrain 
  • Ensure all members of the party carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe 
  • Check the conditions and weather forecast before leaving

Alternative options for outdoor recreation include: 

  • Downhill skiing in-bounds at ski areas 
  • Snowshoeing on designated trails

Parks Canada’s winter avalanche forecasts are published daily on-line until the end of April. Daily avalanche forecasts for the mountain national parks as well as other areas are posted at: www.avalanche.ca.