Sunday, July 21, 2024

Avalanche danger rating reaches critical level on Vancouver Island


If you’re planning on spending the weekend in the backcountry, be warned. 

Avalanche Canada has released a level four danger rating in the area spanning around the Comox Valley.

While no recent avalanches have been reported, a recent wave of heavy precipitation and extreme winds are forecast throughout the next 48 hours which Avalanche Canada reports will “trigger a natural avalanche cycle at upper elevations.”

(Image by Avalanche Canada)

The organization is forecasting a high risk of an avalanche in the alpine on Friday and a considerable risk of an avalanche throughout Saturday with the risk fading to moderate and low on Sunday.

(image by Avalanche Canada)

“There is likely 90-130cm sitting over a thin crust layer above 1000 m. This crust has been highlighted as a critical avalanche layer in recent snowpack tests. Frequent rain has been eroding the already thin snowpack below this elevation,”Avalanche Canada reported,

The announcement of this avalanche risk comes a few days after an off duty police officer from Nelson was reported deceased after an avalanche while snowboarding near Kaslo.

Cst. Wade Tittemore, 43, was killed in the incident and a second officer, Cst. Mathieu (Mat) Nolet, 28, was critically injured.

“This is a tremendous loss for Nelson and for policing in British Columbia, and we are here to support the Nelson Police Department and the City of Nelson in this difficult time.”

“On behalf of all British Columbians, we send our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts are also with the officer who was critically injured, and we wish them well as they begin to recover,” said the Ministry of Public Safety in a press release following the incident.

Backcountry enthusiasts looking for up-to-date information on the Avalanche risk can find detailed information through Avalanche Canada.

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