Avalanche Hazard Climbing In Northwest

This week's snowstorm has boosted the Avalanche Hazard to HIGH for much of the backcountry, in the Northwest Coastal Zone.

Avalanche Canada public forecaster Shannon Werner [pictured at right] says the current conditions in the Terrace-Shames Mountain area mean skiers and snowmobilers have to be extremely careful when heading out.

"The primary avalanche problem right now is just reactive storm slabs so you get a whole bunch of new snow, a bunch of wind, and that potentially warming temperatures and that's the perfect recipe for that high avalanche danger."

For the Inland zone around Smithers and Telkwa, the danger rating isn't as high, but Werner says there are still hazards.

"The bottom third of the snowpack is quite rotten so it consists of that real sugary snow down there, and above that the midpack is quite strong, so you've got this scenario where you've got strong-over-weak," she said.

Werner says it's important to keep up-to-date on conditions and be aware of changes.