Vancouver Island adventure seekers warned of avalanche risk

The avalanche risk in Vancouver Island's backcountry could rise to high this weekend, prompting a warning for outdoor enthusiasts.

Vancouver Island is not monitored by Avalanche Canada in the same way as higher risk areas of the province, but a group called the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre Society was formed several years ago to provide warning information.

"We have avalanche incidents ... pretty much every winter on Vancouver Island," said Jan Neuspiel, the lead forecaster for the Island Avalanche Bulletin.

"I'm pleased to say we haven't had any fatalities that we are aware of, but certainly plenty of serious injuries."

Because island mountains have not been the site of tragedies in past years, some people may not take avalanche safety seriously enough, said Neuspiel.

"I have encountered, at least anecdotally, a bit of the 'Oh, we don't get avalanches on the island' sort of an attitude," he said.

The risk in the Vancouver Island backcountry is currently listed as considerable, but could be upgraded to high by the weekend, Neuspiel said.

Snow also fell closer to sea level on parts of Vancouver Island on Thursday, prompting some snow selfies from On The Islandlisteners.