02/10/2013 01:39 EST | Updated 04/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Avalanche Risk High In Southern Interior

free ride skier turning in...
The Canadian Avalanche Centre says changes in the snow pack have increased the risk of avalanches through much of B.C.’s southern interior.

Centre spokesman Karl Klassen says the snow pack has been very stable this winter to date, but recent snowfall coupled with sunny, warmer days is a cause for concern.

Klassen says people heading into the backcountry this weekend need to check the local avalanche forecast. "We're just worried that people are going to see the blue skies and the sun and they are going to think, ‘Ah, it's the same as it was last weekend and it's a fabulous day and I'll just go do the exactly the same thing as I did last week.’ And I think the consequences of this week could be quite different."

Klassen says the western side of the Monashee mountain range to the west of Kamloops and Vernon is of particular concern.

“The problem will be worse on slopes that face the sun, so south-east, south, and south-west slopes will probably be significantly worse than other slopes.”

On average 14 people are killed each year in avalanches in Canada. This winter there has only been one fatality.

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