These photos are mind boggling. An avalanche mowed these trees down like grass this week. A class 4 avalanche is known to have the power to destroy several buildings or 10 acres of forest.
Roger’s Pass in Glacier National Park, British Columbia experienced a major avalanche this week. The avalanche destroyed trees and came across the road and closed both lanes of traffic for 11 hours. Roger’s Pass is the route between Revelstoke & Golden.
The avalanche danger in interior British Columbia is thru the roof right now:
Special Public Avalanche Warning for BC’s Interior Mountains Third warning in four weeks for recreational backcountry users March 16-19, 2012:
March 15, 2012, Revelstoke, BC: For the third time in four weeks, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users. The warning area includes all the mountains of interior BC—from Mackenzie and Chetwynd south to the US boundary, and west of the Alberta border to Pemberton and Hope. Not included are the Sea to Sky region, and the Northwest Coastal and Northwest Inland regions. The warning is in effect from Friday March 16 through to Monday March 19.
“What concerns us is an expected lull in the stormy weather this weekend, which will give backcountry users an opportunity to get up into the alpine,” explains Karl Klassen, Manager of the CAC’s Public Avalanche Warning Services. “But there’s up to two metres of new snow in the high country that has not yet stabilized, on top of those same deeply buried weak layers we’ve been concerned about for the past month.”
The CAC has received numerous reports of very large avalanches throughout the warning area during the storm over the past week. “Many slopes are at or close to the tipping point,” warns Klassen. “Very large, very destructive avalanches are expected this weekend. Some of these will likely overrun low angle terrain, striking valley bottom and it’s possible that historical boundaries will be extended in some avalanche paths.”
Canadian classification for avalanche size
The Canadian classification for avalanche size is based upon the consequences of the avalanche. Half sizes are commonly used.
|1||Relatively harmless to people.|
|2||Could bury, injure or kill a person.|
|3||Could bury and destroy a car, damage a truck, destroy a small building or break a few trees.|
|4||Could destroy a railway car, large truck, several buildings or a forest area up to 4 hectares (9.9 acres).|
|5||Largest snow avalanche known. Could destroy a village or a forest of 40 hectares.|
These photos start to give us an idea of the destructive potential of avalanches. They certainly are to be feared. Look up your local avalanche center and don’t ever go out into the backcountry without consulting the information they provide.