Avalanche debris. (Photo by Ben Nearingburg)

Avalanche Canada to stop avalanche forecasting early

The organization said decision is due to lack of reliable data and concerns for healthcare system

Avalanche Canada said it will issue its final forecast for the season next week, which is roughly a month earlier than normal.

The agency said in a news release they rely heavily on data from a network of avalanche professionals across western Canada, such as heliskiing lodges and ski resorts, and most have closed due to COVID-19.

As a result, Avalanche Canada said their warning service is no longer receiving enough information to issue accurate forecasts. The last forecast will be March 28.

The organization also said the decision to end forecasting early is also prompted by concerns for the health care system during the pandemic.

“We do not want to provide a service that promotes recreating in mountainous terrain, where there is often significant hazard,” executive director Gilles Valade said.

Parks Canada is closing parking lots in national parks at midnight and is also urging people to stay home.

READ MORE: Parks Canada to close access to trails

READ MORE: Trudeau: More ‘stringent measures’ will come if Canadians ignore COVID-19 guidelines

In addition to ending forecasts, Avalanche Canada said they will also shut down the Mountain Information Network. This online platform allows backcountry users to submit trip reports and observations from the field.

“We do not take these steps lightly,” Valade said.

“But we feel it is essential that we work together and do what we can to avoid putting any extra load on our health care system at this time.”

Avalanche Canada is a non-government, non-for profit organization whose aim is to minimize public avalanche risk in avalanche terrain.

They provide public avalanche forecasts for many of the mountainous regions of western Canada, free of charge. It was formed in 2004 and is based in Revelstoke, B.C.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Electric vehicle chargers being installed at Salmon Arm Canadian Tire

The chargers operated by Electrify Canada are expected to be operational by the fall.

Okanagan College bestows highest honour to five individuals

Couple from Westbank First Nation and men from Vernon, Kelowna and Shuswap named Honourary Fellows

Bikers Are Buddies set up in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Non-profit motorcycle group rides to raise awareness around bullying

Salmon Arm Rotary Club doubles donations for food bank, women’s shelter

Donation matching initiative raises $22,000 for SAFE Society, Second Harvest

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Bikers Are Buddies set up in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Non-profit motorcycle group rides to raise awareness around bullying

Separate trials set for 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing

Four people have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Esa Carriere’s death, including two youths

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Dyer: Buying an electric car

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Summerland Museum to hold walking tours

Community’s past will be explained during series of summer tours

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

HERGOTT: Goodbye column

Paul Hergott is taking a break from writing for Black Press

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Most Read