Pineapple Express closes Trans-Canada Highway through Rogers Pass

Warm weather has pushed up avalanche danger in Rogers Pass, prompting a Trans-Canada Highway closure for control and clean up

A Revelstoke Southside neighbourhood takes advantage of a downright warm Sunday afternoon by scooping up some rays from atop a snow pile.

A Pineapple express – a warm and wet weather system that transports warm and wet air from the Hawaiian Pacific via jet stream – has led to a day-long closure of the Trans-Canada through Glacier National Park.

Park officials announced the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. closure late Saturday afternoon, due to high avalanche hazard and avalanche control.

The rapidly warming temperatures associated with the weather system come on the heels of big snowfalls this past week, elevating avalanche danger ratings.

As of Sunday, the Canadian Avalanche Centre is forecasting high avalanche danger ratings to high in the alpine and treeline in the North Columbia Monashees and Selkirks.

In Glacier National Park, the high avalanche danger ratings are forecast in the alpine, treeline and below treeline.

“With current large natural avalanches running, heavy warm/moist storm snow and restricted access, today might be better spent at the local resorts,” states the Glacier National Park avalanche bulletin for Sunday, Mar. 9.

In Revelstoke, the Swatch Freeride World tour competition date has been postponed from its scheduled start of Monday, Mar. 10.In a bulletin sent out at noon on Mar. 9, organizers said “visibility and conditions” delayed the competition on Mac Daddy at Revelstoke Mountain resort. A call for competition will be announced by 10 a.m. on Mar. 10; the competition’s weather window at Revelstoke Mountain Resort runs through until Mar. 15.

Weather delays, often caused by poor visibility that prevents filming and hinders competitors, are common at the freeride tour because filming crews are based on faraway ridges and in helicopters.

The Swatch Freeride World Tour events at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort Rockford Plaza continue, including live music from noon to 3:30 p.m., athlete poster signing from 3:30–4 p.m., and an opening ceremony from 4–5 p.m.

 

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