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.
Click on image to get a readable version
The new scale is the result of collaboration between avalanche professionals in Canada, the USA and Europe. It is a North American Danger Scale with Icons standardized internationally (recognizable by Europeans visiting Noth America.)
- The danger levels have been reversed — Extreme is now on top.
- Extreme and High have been grouped as backcountry travel is not reccommended at either level.
- Icons have been added to give an at-a-glance indication of the risk of travel.
- Travel advice is given for each danger level.
- The likelyhood of avalanches information has been retained from the previous scale.
- The last column gives the potential size and extent of avalanches.
A card will be available in the fall with the danger scale on one side and website information and a “Know Before Yo Go” checklist on the other.
For a more in-depth discussion of the danger levels, see my previous post “How to Use the Avalanche Danger Scale to Reduce Your Risk“