Avalanche Canada is warning skiers and ice climbers that due to persistently warm temperatures in the region, the Avalanche danger in Kananaskis Country is very dangerous.
Avalanche Canada explained that due to warm overnight temperatures, there is no freezing expected overnight.
"The heat has made the snowpack unstable and ski quality extremely poor. Ice climbers this is the time to avoid gully features where the consequences of even a small wet loose slide can be large," The forecast stated.
It is also expected that Areas of Kananaskis Country will be intermittently closed for avalanche control using explosives, which will mean likely closures.
The forecast for Banff National Park is also warning of a very high danger of avalanches occurring.
"The Mt. Field and Mt. Stephen avalanche closure zones are closed today for avalanche control."
Avalanche Canada also noted that a natural avalanche cycle is ongoing with many avalanches up to size 2.5 in the last 48 hours.
"Freezing levels climb again Wednesday keeping the avalanche danger high. Avoid avalanche terrain until things cool down."
To the North, areas within the Jasper National Park are slightly lower, with the avalanche danger considerable.
"Avalanche hazard will remain elevated with the unseasonably warm temperatures and high winds. Choose conservative terrain while these conditions persist this week," Avalanche Canada stated.
In neighbouring British Columbia, large areas of Glacier National Park have been closed for avalanche control using explosives as well, and the possibility for human-triggered avalanches is likely until cooler weather locks in the snowpack.
Thus far in 2024, one individual has died in British Columbia as a result of avalanches occurring, according to recorded incidents by Avalanche Canada.
"A snowmobiler was caught and buried in an avalanche in the Hasler riding area, west of Chetwynd. The rider was located and extracted by snowmobilers at the scene but did not survive. The avalanche happened in a chute feature at treeline elevation. The east-facing start zone was reported to be wind-loaded. It is suspected to have failed on a layer of facets that formed earlier in January. The avalanche ran for approximately 250 meters."
Last weekend, a 32-year-old Saskatchewan man fell to his death during a back-country skiing incident.
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