A few updates:

1. Last night we had a rescue for two lost snowboarders on Cypress. They were located in the Montezambert Creek area and we were out by about 1am. Avalanche conditions were detiorating and the last part of the post will speak to this.

2. Update – Man dies after Mt. Harvey Rescue – http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=cb2076c3-e19d-42b5-9caa-581334452a3d – article says “Hardy” but this is a typo.

3. And..an avy advisory – be safe out there this weekend!!

Special Avalanche Warning for the North Shore Mountains

The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) is issuing a Special Avalanche Warning for the North Shore Mountains of Vancouver and surrounding areas, including the Howe Sound Crest and extending east to the Coquihalla Summit. This warning is in place from Friday February 1 through Sunday February 3.

CAC Operations Manager John Kelly says there is an unusually weak layer in the snowpack of this region. “The colder weather earlier this month created this weakness,” he explains, “and we are concerned that recreational backcountry users in this area will not have much experience with this type of problem. Now, the recent new snow is making backcountry travel very attractive. We are issuing this warning to get the message out that an extra margin of safety is required for anyone traveling in the avalanche terrain this coming weekend.”

To increase safety margins, the CAC advises:
Stay on simpler terrain
Stay off steep slopes (steeper than the stairs in your house)
Avoid convex features, especially where the slope below is unsupported
Avoid terrain traps
Spread out when crossing avalanche runout zones.
Avoid avalanche start zones and tracks. If you must travel in these areas, go one at a time from safe point to safe point

Managing avalanche risk effectively requires an in-depth knowledge of the terrain and the snowpack. To reduce your risk, start with an Avalanche Skills Training course. The CAC’s website, avalanche.ca, has a list of course providers near you. Every person in your group needs appropriate rescue gear, and you should always consult the avalanche and weather conditions before heading out. Using the Avaluator, the CAC’s new avalanche decision-making tool, will also help you reduce your risk. Public avalanche forecasts and information reports can be obtained at avalanche.ca or by phone at 1-800-667-1105.