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‘Considerable’ avalanche risks reported for mountains east of Prince George

Avalanche Canada warning backcountry visitors to be prepared for changing conditions
Avalanche barreling down a mountain. (via Shutterstock)

Outdoor enthusiasts in Prince George thinking about heading east for the Family Day long weekend to trek local slopes are being asked to stay alert.

Avalanche Canada is reporting ‘considerable’ risks in the North Rockies region, which, as of this publication, stands as the only area of B.C. with that rating at all three mountain levels.

“A few loose snow avalanches were reported from the Torpy [Mountain] on Monday (Feb. 10),” reads the national agency’s recent update; Torpy is located about 125 km east of the city.

“With new snow and wind in the forecast, [we] anticipate natural and human-triggered avalanches will increase in likelihood toward the end of this week.”


North Rockies - Feb. 13, 2020North Rockies forecast rating 'considerable' at all three mountain levels on Feb. 13, 2020. (via Avalanche Canada)

The report breaks down its avalanche risk at ‘Alpine peak,’ ‘Treeline’ and ‘Below Treeline,’ signaling the potential for unexpected slab melts.

Avalanche Canada also says its confidence level is ‘moderate,’ meaning there’s an uncertainty of any possible slides due to timing, track and intensity of the incoming weather system, which could lead to unstable snowpacks.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada is calling for 10 cm of snow in the early hours tomorrow (Feb. 14) and westerly winds, dropping the temperature to -6 C.

By Saturday (Feb. 15), there will be an additional 10 cm of snow and more winds, but the low is expected at -3 C.

Residents and backcountry visitors are being asked to avoid freshly wind-loaded features and in-steep terrain in the North Rockies, as well as ridge crests and roll-overs.

For more information on mountain conditions and how you can be prepared, you can go to Avalanche Canada’s website.


Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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