The updated new edition of Backcountry Avalanche Safety is now available. Since the last edition there have been significant improvements to avalanche forecasting. Work done by Parks Canada and Canadian academic researchers has led to Canada becoming a world leader in avalanche forecasting and in the education of winter backcountry users.
Backcountry Avalanche Safety
In March, 2013 three backcountry skiers, deeply buried by a large avalanche near Terrace B.C. were dug out alive in less than 20 minutes. The group that rescued them had recently taken a companion rescue course — a choice that made the difference between life and death. Explore this micro-site — it might save your life!
A fter a quiet start to the season avalanche danger levels are creeping up, and more and more people are heading higher into avalanche country. Skiers, snowboarders, scramblers and ice climbers have been joined by snowshoers, and now fat-tire bikers are starting to spin their wheels into Challenging terrain. In order to help you be [...]
Avalanche Canada is the new name for the Canadian Avalanche Centre, the world class organization that has provided Avalanche Bulletins for Canada’s winter backcountry users for the past 10 years. Separated from the Canadian Avalanche Association, the organization that serves and supports professional avalanche workers, it will have its own new logo, its own staff [...]
If you’ve ever complained about the Spray Lakes Road above Canmore being closed take a look at the avalanche debris piled across the road. Imagine you and your car somewhere down in the Grassi Lakes Valley! The two photos by Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section are from yesterday’s avalanche control. Wow!
The Canadian Avalanche Centre has produced a new version of the Avaluator! So what’s new? Obvious Clues are gone. There is a new Slope Evaluation card that uses a rules-based approach to travel in avalanche terrain, and the old Trip Planner, used as a basis for the Online Avaluator, is still there. Here are the details.
A new Avalanche Danger Scale was announced today by Environment Minister Jim Prentice. Developed under the leadership of Parks Canada’s Grant Statham, and several years in the making, the new scale will be implemented for next winter, though there’s no reason why you can’t refer to it now.
The ability to read terrain is the most important skill to develop if you wish to enjoy the winter backcountry safely. Parks Canada has developed a terrain rating system that evaluates the complexity of avalanche terrain and makes recommendations on the suitability of avalanche terrain for various users.
An explanation of each level of the Avalanche Danger Scale, including the transitions between levels, signs of instability at each level and the implications of slope angle, aspect and elevation.
Persistent weak layers such as layers of surface hoar, cohesionless facets and old rain or sun crusts are the usual cause of avalanches that release in old snow layers.
Avalanche Forecasts are your primary source of information whether skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, or scrambling and climbing in avalanche terrain.