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Backcountry Advisory

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As of Wednesday, Feb. 26

There have been some reports of small slab avalanches triggered by skiers/snowboarders at treeline and into the alpine. The instability lies between last week’s 30 to 40 centimetres of storm snow, and the small surface hoar, and small faceted snow crystals that preceeded its arrival.

While most of these avalanche events have been without consequence for the skiers triggering them, one partial burial with accompanying injuries has occurred. This person was buried to their neck and sustained a knee injury, requiring helicopter evacuation.

The other significant layer for most of the local area is the rain crust from Jan. 28, which is now comprised of a sandwich of small faceted crystals and brittle "rotten" crusts. This layer is not a huge concern at this time due to the lack of a significant snow load over it; however, if it ever snows it may become very active.

The backcountry hazard rating on Wednesday Feb. 26 is MODERATE, meaning avalanche probability is rated "natural avalanches unlikely, human triggered avalanches possible."

The recommended action is to "use caution in steeper terrain on certain aspects."

Stay informed at 604-938-7676 or www.avalanche.ca, and remember the effect of solar radiation on surface layers from east facing terrain in the morning through to west aspects in the late afternoon.

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