Canadian Avalanche Centre wants riders to stay safe
Organization offers avalanche bulletins
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Jan. 23, 2009Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
“Rescue equipment is only one part of the equation,” says Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) Public Avalanche Forecaster Karl Klassen. “The focus should really be on choosing terrain appropriate to the conditions and preventing accidents, not just reacting to them.”
The CAC is working together with the BC Snowmobile Federation, the Association of BC Snowmobile Clubs and the Alberta Snowmobile Association to encourage these safe habits for all the members of their organizations.
“The snowpack is constantly changing,” says Klassen. “Public forecasters devote a tremendous amount of time and expertise to tracking those changes and communicating the hazard as it fluctuates throughout the winter. Everyone using the winter backcountry should be taking advantage of this service and staying in tune with these changes.”
Avalanche bulletins are available at http://www.avalanche.ca/ or by phone at 1-800-667-1105.
Avalanche education is available through many different providers throughout Western Canada. The CAC has course providers posted on its website, listed by location. A basic avalanche awareness course is sixteen hours over two days and focuses on recognizing avalanche terrain and trip planning. Instructors who teach snowmobile-specific courses are highlighted.
The CAC issues avalanche forecasts three times a week throughout the winter, and daily during the Christmas and Easter holiday periods. The CAC website also hosts the public forecasts issued by the mountain National Parks, Whistler/Blackcomb, Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, and the Centre d’avalanche de la Haute Gaspésie in Québec.
Most of the victims seem to have been fairly well equipped with rescue gear but the CAC is concerned that this gear is instilling a false sense of security. According to the CAC, of equal if not greater importance is the ability to make good decisions in avalanche terrain.