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Above-average temperatures raise concerns in B.C.'s backcountry

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Summary

While avalanche risk on the South Coast remains low, moderate, Avalanche Canada says you still need to be cautious

Warmer than usual temperatures this time of year can destabilize the snowpack on B.C.'s mountains, Avalanche Canada says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As parts of B.C. enjoy warm temperatures, many above seasonal averages, conditions are proving to be a reason to worry when it comes to avalanche risks in some areas.

Avalanche Canada says the risk is low to moderate along the South Coast and in Sea to Sky country.

However, Karl Klassen — who speaks for the organization — says the organization is keeping a close eye on a couple of weak layers of snow.

“They do get sensitize when the warmth or the sun comes out, or when the warm temperatures arrive which we have right now and will probably persist for another day or two before it starts to cool off again.”

Klassen explains that zero or above zero temperatures marks are definitely something to watch out for, and those are the kinds of temperatures we’ve been seeing in the alpines for the last couple of days.

He adds this climate is expected to persist for another day or two before things start to cool off. He warns if you’re in the backcountry to be aware of your surroundings.

“I would be quite cautious especially if the sun is hitting slopes above you, if the temperatures are warm for the next couple of the days. I would be very careful of overhead hazards.”

Earlier this month, a 42-year-old man from Squamish died after being caught in an avalanche near Pemberton, and a man in his 50s from Calgary was also killed in an avalanche near B.C.-Alberta border over the weekend.