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Special avalanche warning issued for Kokanee, Valhalla parks

A special public avalanche warning has been issued for parts of the West Kootenay.

Avalanhce Canada says it covers the southern boundaries of the the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and Kokanee and Valhalla Provincial Parks. The warning is in effect immediately and will apply until the end of Monday.

The agency said in a news release that a prolonged cold and dry start to the winter created a number of persistent weak layers in the snowpack across the interior ranges of B.C. The recent storm and warming temperatures have now destabilized that weak snowpack, making large, human-triggered avalanches likely.

“The snowpack is currently in a precarious state,” explains senior forecaster Simon Horton. “The storm cycles that hit western Canada over the past weekend added significant snow on top of an exceptionally weak lower snowpack. This has brought the conditions to a tipping point where dangerous avalanches are likely.

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“While avalanche danger ratings may start to decrease as the weather improves, there will still be a chance of triggering a large avalanche.”

Making conservative terrain choices can help manage this risk, Avalanche Canada said.

You can reduce your risk by sticking to lower angle slopes and choosing smaller objectives that minimize the consequences of an avalanche.

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