Avalanche Canada says backcountry snow could become more dangerous as temperatures rise over the weekend.
The organization along with Parks Canada, Kananaskis Country and the province has issued a warning for mountains in western Canada, including on Vancouver Island.
They say the dramatic rise in temperature could destabilize the snowpack, creating conditions for dangerous and destructive avalanches that could run all the way to valley bottoms. The warning is in effect until after May 1.
“Regions with persistent or deep persistent slab avalanche problems will be especially problematic, with avalanches potentially involving the full depth of the snowpack,” said Avalanche Canada in a release.
“Warming can also initiate large and destructive cornice falls. Cornices can be destructive by themselves but also act as a trigger for destructive deep persistent avalanches.”
All backcountry users including hikers and scramblers in avalanche terrain are advised to leave a large margin for error during the warm sun and stick to simple, low angle terrain.
They add you should always check the avalanche forecast before heading out and have the appropriate rescue gear.