Special Public Avalanche Warning

Issued: March 18, 2019

Ends: March 22, 2019

Avalanche Canada, Parks Canada and Alberta’s Kananaskis Country have issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for all forecast regions in western Canada. This includes Kootenay, Yoho, Glacier and Mount Revelstoke national parks in British Columbia, and Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes national parks in Alberta. This warning is in effect Monday, March 18 until a return to seasonal temperatures is observed.

A significant warming trend is forecast to hit BC and Alberta this week. This dramatic temperature change will lead to snowpack instability and increased avalanche risk. Forecasters are particularly concerned as the increasing hazard coincides with spring break, a time that typically sees more people heading into the mountains.

It is important to remember that it is still winter in the mountains. Weather can change quickly and even easy summer trails may be exposed to avalanche risk in spring. If you are not prepared to travel in avalanche terrain or are unsure of the risk, stop in at a Parks Canada visitor centre to find the best options for you.

Anyone travelling into the backcountry is responsible for their own safety.  Know your limits and choose the right experience for you. If you’re heading into avalanche terrain, you must have the knowledge and tools to assess the avalanche risk and to self-rescue if caught in an avalanche (transceiver, shovel, probe). Otherwise, it is recommended that you travel with an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certified guide.

Be sure to check weather forecasts and avalanche reports (www.avalanche.ca) before you go, and research and plan your routes. Let someone know where you are going and have a means of communication while out in the backcountry.

For full details of the Special Public Avalanche Warning as well as daily avalanche bulletins visit www.avalanche.ca.