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Avalanche risk lingers in B.C., Alberta

The risk of avalanches in BC and AB continues
The risk of avalanches in BC and AB continues

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

April 20, 2011 — The threat for spring avalanches prompts officials to extend the forecast season through Easter weekend.

Avalanche risk on Thursday
Avalanche risk on Thursday

The spring season has settled in, but the cold weather and fresh snow in the mountains has forced the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) to extend the forecast season in B.C. and Alberta.

The lingering threat of avalanches as the Easter long weekend approaches has authorities warning backcountry users to keep avalanche safety in mind. CAC's Manager Karl Klassen says they usually shut the forecast office at the end of this week, but with the risk still in place, it will remain open for a few more weeks to come. Officials will continue to keep an eye on the snow conditions in the mountains of B.C. and Alberta.

While outdoor enthusiasts welcome the extended season, the CAC encourages everyone to be aware of the potential for spring avalanches.

“Springtime is generally when we see the largest avalanches,” says Cam Campbell, an official at the centre. “These are the climax, full path avalanches that will tend to wipe out large swaths of forest if they're big enough.”

In an average year in western Canada, the risk of avalanches can exist into the middle of May.

Wondering what to expect for the rest of the spring season? Be sure to check The Weather Network's Spring Outlook 2011.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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