While the west coast of Newfoundland has snow left along some of its trails, a tourism group is cautioning snowmobilers that things may not be as safe as they seem.
Alex Chafe of Wild Gros Morne says spring can be a beautiful time of year for snowmobiling, but it’s important to stay safe. He says avalanches and ponds breaking open pose risks to riders, and it’s critical to be aware of the danger before hitting the trails.
He says the most common types of avalanches seen on the island this time of year are caused by cornice breaks. Because the wind-deposited snow can be so heavy, cornice falls can trigger avalanches on the slope below.
Chafe also notes that ice on many ponds in the backcountry are at risk of opening up. Riders should keep an eye out for darker wet spots on the surface of ponds or open areas. He recommends avoiding these stretches entirely, if possible.
During the final weeks of this snowmobiling season, Chafe says it’s especially important to stay alert, and ride safe.