An unusually winter has the BC government and Avalanche Canada warning outdoor enthusiasts to be extra cautious before heading out to the backcountry.
General tips include not travelling alone, planning ahead and giving a trip plan to a friend or family member, and bringing extra essentials such as water and layers of clothing.
Once you are out, there is one other factor this time of year that may be the most important to keep an eye on.
“The sunshine and the warm temperatures, during conditions like this it’s really important to select smart routes,” explains Forecasting Program Supervisor with Avalanche Canada, James Floyer.
“Smart routes are going to be routes that really make more use of the shaded terrain. Avoid exposure to large, sun-affected slopes.”
The reason the weather can be so tricky at this time of the year is the overnight frost mixed with sunny and warm daytime condition. The quick turnaround can cause issues, according to Floyer.
“If it feels warm, if it feel like it hasn’t got that freeze overnight, then it might be time to back off even a little bit more and stick to lower-angled slopes.”
Tuesday is projected to be the warmest day of the year so far, prompting Floyer to say he expects it to be an active avalanche day.