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Storms pass, leaving behind avalanche threat

NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Avalanche threats are high in the North Island.

As of January 4th, the threat is high at alpine, treeline, and below treeline elevations.

According to an update from Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, avalanche control teams in Mt. Washington reported widespread loose and wet natural avalanches on all aspects and elevations.  

Two kinds of avalanche events could occur: storm slab and loose wet.

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The storm slab avalanche has the potential to be bigger than size three and more destructive.

Size three avalanches are big enough to bury and damage cars, damage trucks, and bury small buildings and break trees.

Storm slab avalanches are caused by a cohesive slab of new snow on top of old snow. It may look soft, but is quite powerful.

The loose wet avalanche can be occur on any elevation, according to the centre. They can push a mountain traveller into and over terrain traps, and can grow up to size two in destructive size.

Size two avalanches can bury, injure, and kill people.  

The centre is advising travellers to go through simple terrains, and to seek out alternative routes other than high and alpine terrains.

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