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BC spring avalanche risk

Slides continue to be a hazard.
Slides continue to be a hazard.

Jill Colton, staff writer

May 14, 2011 — The spring season is halfway over, but that hasn't put an end to the avalanche risk in British Columbia.

The backcountry is still full of snow.
The backcountry is still full of snow.

Although the calendar says late spring, most mountainous areas of western Canada are still full of snow.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre is warning backcountry explorers that slides continue to remain a hazard.

The reason being? The later-than-usual warm weather.

CAC spokesman Karl Klassen believes the delayed spring snowpack means the first big spring avalanche cycle of the year in BC's interior ranges and the Rockies is now underway.

Experts suggest that hikers, hunters and ATV users should minimize their risk by travelling earlier in the day when it's cool and the snowpack is frozen.

Klassen recommends backcountry enthusiasts carry avalanche rescue gear including a shovel, probe and transceiver until early summer.

With files from The Canadian Press

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