December 18, 2022:
Be cautious in the backcountry. Avalanche risk is real. That's the message from Avalanche Canada. So far, risk levels are MODERATE for the North Okanagan region but conditions can change quickly.
Avalanche.ca reports a handful of size 1 avalanches have already occurred in the Sun Peaks area over the last week.
Those venturing into the backcountry are advised to "avoid steep, rocky, and wind-affected areas where triggering slabs is more likely"
Hikers should also "approach lee and cross-loaded slopes with caution, wind slabs may be poorly bonded to the underlying crust".
Avalanche Canada Defines Moderate Risk As:
- Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features.
- Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
- Natural avalanches are unlikely but human-triggered avalanches are possible.
- Small avalanches in specific areas or large avalanches in isolated areas are possible.
Temperatures in the North Okanagan are expected to be around -25 near the end of December
There were 6 deaths in Canada last winter, all of them in British Columbia.
The average number of people killed in avalanches in Canada is 10 per year.
You can help Avalanche Canada by filling out a "Mountain Information Network" report after you complete your adventure. Avalanche Canada website.