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British Columbia Avalanche risk is high in four backcountry areas of B.C.

A ski patroller keeps watch at Whistler mountain on Jan. 2, 2009.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A special avalanche warning has been issued to people accessing backcountry terrain in four regions of B.C.

Avalanche Canada says a winter of unusual weather has created complex and unpredictable snowpacks in the North Columbia, Cariboo and North Rockies regions of B.C.

The Sea to Sky region, including areas adjacent to but outside the ski-area boundary at Whistler Blackcomb, is also covered.

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The organization says avalanches are being triggered in newer, surface snow and deeper layers formed in the winter, and have resulted in close calls and two deaths last weekend.

Avalanche Canada says the warning continues until Sunday, and backcountry users should stay on simple, low-angle terrain and avoid large steep slopes and travelling where others are on slopes above.

Those accessing backcountry areas should be equipped with an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.

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