The Sea-to-Sky area has been named in a special public avalanche warning issued by Avalanche Canada.
The organization is issuing the advisory to recreational users of backcountry and front-country avalanche terrain. This warning came into effect Dec. 23.
According to Avalanche Canada, the issue is a weak layer within the snowpack.
“The storm that blew through Western Canada over the past few days dropped a significant amount of snow, which is now sitting precariously on that weak layer,” reads a news release from the organization. “During the storm, many avalanches on that weak layer ran to historic runouts.”
Ilya Storm, a forecast program supervisor for Avalanche Canada, said while danger ratings are going down because naturally-running avalanches have slowed or stopped, many slopes are primed for human-triggered avalanches.
“Distinguishing between slopes that have already slid and those that are the tipping point will be very difficult,” said Storm in the release. “This, combined with clearing weather during a holiday week, has us very concerned for backcountry users.”
Recreationalists are encouraged to always check their regional avalanche forecasts at www.avalanche.ca.
Avalanche Canada is also reminding people that every backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear – transceiver, probe and shovel – and the knowledge to use it. Ensure your party re-groups well away from avalanche slopes, including overhead hazard such as cornices.
“Those heading to the mountains to snowshoe or explore the front country should also be aware that many popular summer trails are exposed to avalanche terrain,” reads the release. “Plan ahead and research your route to make sure you are avoiding these areas, or hire a certified guide to lead your party.”
This advisory applies to the following areas:
South Coast Inland
Banff-Yoho-Kootenay National Parks
Waterton Lakes National Park