03/12/2012 10:06 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

High avalanche risk covers much of B.C.

Snow conditions causing fatal avalanches in the B.C. backcountry could last for at least the next three days, the Canadian Avalanche Centre warns.

The centre has pegged the avalanche danger rating at high across much of the province, and is advising against travel in the Columbia Mountains, the south Rockies and the mountains along the South Coast.

The dangerous conditions are the result of recent fresh snowfall on the weak, unstable layers of snow formed in the mountains in mid-February.

Avalanche forecaster Joe Lammers has been surprised by the recent avalanches in British Columbia.

"In many regions, there has been well over a metre of snow on this layer and avalanches have been surprisingly large, and reacting on surprisingly low-angle terrain," he said.

Last week, three avalanches hit snowmobilers in the province, and a special avalanche warning was issued Friday.

On Tuesday, a 44-year-old Squamish man died when he was caught in an avalanche south of Whistler.

On Friday, two snowslides in Corbin and Fernie killed a 35-year-old Alberta man and left three others injured.