By Goat Staff with files from Avalanche Canada

Avalanche Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada and Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users across a widespread area of BC and Alberta.  Increasing temperatures are in the forecast and the effect of this first big warm-up of the season will destabilize the snowpack. The special warning is in effect immediately and will stay effective through the weekend.

This special warning applies to the following regions:

  • North Rockies
  • Cariboos
  • Jasper National Park
  • Banff, Yoho, & Kootenay National Parks
  • Kananaskis Country
  • South Rockies
  • Lizard & Flathead
  • Waterton Lakes National Park

“There are persistent weak layers in the snowpack all across this area,” explains Karl Klassen, Warning Service Manager for Avalanche Canada. “When the sun and these high temperatures hit this complex snowpack, it’s going to have a destabilizing effect that will make natural and human-triggered avalanches much more likely.”

There have been several close calls reported recently, and the Rocky Mountain National Parks report large avalanches running the full extent of their paths. “There is a lot of uncertainty with these weak layers,” adds Klassen. “These warm temperatures are going to be a concern across all these regions, with the most significant impact in the south.”

Backcountry users should always check their regional avalanche forecasts at Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the knowledge to use it.

Click here for a forecasters’ blog on warming