Avalanche Danger will increase with rising temperatures

We’re starting a period of significant warming that is going to destabilize the snowpack. Expect elevated avalanche dangers as the temperatures rise.

“That snowpack structure hasn’t really changed dramatically, many areas still remain weak,” said Simon Horton, forecaster with Avalanche Canada.

“In a lot of areas we haven’t seen as much avalanche activity while it stayed cold over the last few weeks — months even — but definitely starting later this week and into the weekend we’re going to see our first real big warm up, and that’s going to cause these problems to reemerge.”

Avalanche Canada reported a fatal size three avalanche in the Lake Louise area on April 22, and the Western Purcells have reported recent human-triggered activity, including a fatal size three on April 15 near Thunderwater Lake.

Lake Louise stated that at approximately 2:20 PM Saturday April 22nd Lake Louise Ski Resort received a call of an avalanche incident in a closed area of the resort called West Bowl. At that time both Parks Canada and EMS were contacted and an avalanche rescue team was dispatched to the location.

Upon arriving on scene it was determined that a group of three entered the closed area and triggered a size 3 avalanche burying two individuals. One individual was partially buried and rescued, but another was fully buried and did not survive. None of the individuals were wearing avalanche safety equipment.

Check the avalanche bulletin in your area and travel safely.