Avalanche Canada has issued an immediate warning as potentially deadly snow conditions develop on slopes across parts of eastern and southeastern British Columbia.
The warning is in effect through to Monday, Feb. 22, and covers the North and South Columbia regions, the Purcell Mountains and the Kootenay Boundary.
Glacier National Park has issued a similar warning for backcountry users in that region east of Revelstoke.
Avalanche Canada spokesman James Floyer says up to a metre of new snow covers a weak layer in the snowpack, and he points to several slides and "close calls" in the last few days.
Floyer says expected sunshine this weekend will increase the instability of the snowpack, potentially creating large and dangerous avalanches.
Backcountry users are urged to wear locator beacons and Avalanche Canada recommends skiers and sledders avoid large slopes in the alpine and at the treeline, especially if the snow is untracked.