First peak at the backcountry's snow
The Nelson Daily staff
Confidence is poor in the backcountry, according to the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s first forecast of the year.
However, with few people venturing out the conditions in the backcountry right now remain a bit of a mystery, the CAC reported.
There generally is a lack of snow in the region except for higher sheltered upper elevations.
Areas of concern would be steep, smooth, planar slopes at tree line and above. Equally important this time of year is the presence of early season hazards like rocks, roots, stumps and fallen trees.
Forecast winds from the northwest may produce isolated patches of wind slab around ridge tops.
There have been reports of avalanches in neighbouring regions outside the Kootenay region and people need to start thinking about the avalanche hazard when they venture into the mountains.
Information is very limited at this time.
Snow depths range from 35-50 centimetres at upper elevations (1800 metres and above). Expect to see isolated deeper pockets in wind-exposed areas.
If you are an early season enthusiast, and have info on conditions, email email@example.com or 250-837-2141, ext 230.
If you have not taken an avalanche course, want to take things to the next level, or want a refresher: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/training/ast
Information and a list of course providers for sledders can be found here: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/community/sled
Also, check out the new Decision Making webpage: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/pre-trip-planning/decisionmaking for a variety of new information.