Avalanches are typically not a risk many people would think of in the Rockies during the summer months, but Parks Canada says they can happen any time of year.
On Sunday, Sept. 25. a skier from Golden, B.C. was killed after getting caught in an avalanche on Mount Victoria in Banff National Park, just west of Lake Louise.
Visitor Safety Specialist in Yoho Kootenay Parks Aaron Beardmore, says while it's uncommon, avalanches can happen in the summer and fall under very specific conditions.
"It's less likely that we have prime avalanche conditions in those months, but it's very much possible," he says "It just depends on a lot of different factors, typically in the summer and fall months the avalanche hazard is at very high elevations, the snow line is at about 2500 m. So enough snow had accumulated over the past weeks to create an avalanche condition and that combined with wind produced an avalanche problem."
Beardmore says if any outdoor enthusiasts are looking to get one last adventure in the Rockies before the weather turns, it's important to mindful of the conditions in the mountains.
"I just think people need to have an awareness that if there is snow on the ground there is a possibility for avalanches. We just encourage people to make informed decisions, look at the weather forecast, and recognize if there is a steep slope with snow on it, it could potentially create an avalanche."
Banff has already seen at least 30 cm of snow this fall.