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forecaster
April 20th, 2011, 05:21 PM
Due to the very late spring, the CAC is extending it’s forecasting program. We will issue our last regularly scheduled daily forecasts April 22nd. We’ll then do regular updates on Thursdays or more often if conditions warrant until spring conditions are fully established or the May long weekend, whichever comes first. While avalanche danger ratings are relatively low, it does look like sunny warm weather is in the cards for the Easter long weekend. This will likely increase avalanche danger in the afternoons, especially on sunward slopes at higher elevations. Please remember that while it may feel spring-like in the valleys, it’s still winter in the alpine. I suggest that winter planning procedures are in order if you are heading out this weekend. Check avalanche forecasts at avalanche.ca to assess current conditions and choose appropriate terrain. The press release we issued on the subject is below.

Karl Klassen
Mountain Guide
Canadian Avalanche Centre, Public Avalanche Warning Service Manager
Revelstoke, BC Canada
kklassen@avalanche.ca

Cool weather, deep snowpack means avalanches remain possible,

warns Canadian Avalanche Centre

Forecast season extended; recreational backcountry users urged to keep avalanche safety in mind for the Easter weekend



April 20, 2011, Revelstoke, BC: Although the calendar may say it is spring, most mountainous areas of western Canada remain cold and snowbound. And as the Easter long weekend approaches, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) wants backcountry users to keep avalanche safety in mind.



Winter’s hold has prompted the CAC to extend its forecasting season. “In a normal year we shut down the forecast office at the end of this week,” explains Karl Klassen, Manager of the CAC’s Public Avalanche Safety Service. “But the way this season is going means our services will be needed for a few weeks yet.”



While skiers and snowmobilers are enjoying the extended season, they should continue to plan trips and manage risks as if it were winter. The CAC also wants to send a message to other backcountry users who may not be as familiar with avalanche hazard. “Where valley bottom trails are clear of snow, hikers, dirt-bikers, and people on quads will be planning outings as well,” says Klassen. “These activities may still be exposed to avalanche hazard from the slopes above. We want everyone, no matter what their mode of travel, to be aware of the possibility of avalanches this spring. Pay attention to the slopes above you and don’t linger in any area exposed to avalanches.”



Every member of a backcountry party needs to be equipped with a shovel, probe and transceiver. The CAC strongly recommends that all backcountry users take an avalanche awareness course. Snowpack stability changes constantly throughout the winter; backcountry users need to check the avalanche bulletin regularly to keep informed of conditions in their area. Avalanche bulletins are can be found at Welcome to avalanche.ca (http://www.avalanche.ca).

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For more information contact:

Karl Klassen, Public Avalanche Warning Service Manager

250.837.2141 (227)