12/30/2014 11:20 EST | Updated 03/01/2015 05:59 EST

Avalanche warning issued for backcountry Whistler, Pemberton

Avalanche Canada has extended its warning for backcountry users to include the Sea to Sky region near Whistler and Pemberton, B.C.

Last week, the agency issued a warning on Christmas day for the North Rockies, Cariboos, North Columbia, South Columbia, Kootenay-Boundary, Purcells, South Rockies, Lizard and Flathead, and South Coast Inland regions.

“We had expected the problem layer to calm down by now, but it’s still easily triggered,” said senior avalanche forecaster James Floyer.

Avalanche Canada recommends backcountry users avoid large, steep slopes; avoid travelling where other users are on slopes above them; and re-group in safe zones away from avalanche run-outs until conditions improve. 

The organization also reminded backcountry users that everyone in the group must be equipped with essential avalanche safety equipment: an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel — and practise using these tools.

On Wednesday, an avalanche came tumbling down on two snowmobilers outside of Whistler, but one man managed to safely pry out his buried friend. Some 15 people died across the province in 13 separate incidents last season.

“We have had numerous reports of skiers and snowmobilers involved in avalanches. Luckily there have been no fatalities, thanks to good self-rescue by the parties involved," Floyer said.