Extreme avalanche conditions for mountain national parks
Heavy snowfall in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks yesterday combined with warm temperatures and moderate to strong winds have elevated the avalanche hazard.
Parks Canada is reminding visitors that anyone travelling into the backcountry is responsible for their own safety.
“Safety is a top priority for Parks Canada and we work with other organizations and backcountry users to ensure they receive the most up-to-date information on backcountry avalanche conditions so that they can make informed decisions,” noted Amy Krause, Public relations and communications officer with Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.
The danger rating forecast for Friday, January 4, is ‘Extreme’ in the Alpine, ‘Extreme’ at treeline and ‘High’ below treeline. The danger rating forecast for Saturday, January 5 is currently ‘High’ in the Alpine, ‘High’ at treeline and ‘Considerable’ below treeline.
Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Parks Canada provides daily avalanche bulletins for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks from early November to the end of April. These bulletins give the daily avalanche danger ratings, describe avalanche problems in the snowpack, and give travel advice.
All park visitors are encouraged to visit a Parks Canada Visitor Centre or check its website for the current avalanche forecast as well as additional information on where you can safely recreate in the backcountry during periods of elevated avalanche danger.
Elsewhere in the East Kootenay, Avalanche Canada notes ‘High’ avalanche risk in all three zones for the Lizard Range and Flathead, the South Rockies and Purcells for Friday, Jan. 4.