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.
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!
Backcountry Avalanche Safety is an up-to-date, tightly written, backcountry-focused book that clearly explains the basics of snow and avalanches using color photos and diagrams. It describes the skills needed to travel through avalanche terrain and provides guidelines for skiing and boarding steep slopes with an emphasis on managing risk.
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.
Avalanche Forecasts are your primary source of information whether skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, or scrambling and climbing in avalanche terrain.