Avalanche in Western Canada - Who is in Charge?

TitleAvalanche in Western Canada - Who is in Charge?
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2018
AuthorsToupin, Jerry
Conference Name86th Annual Western Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico

Every year several centimeters (feet) of snow fall in Canada. In fact, this land remains one of the snowiest countries in the world as more than 1000 cm of snow may fall in Western Canada in certain parts of the Canadian Rockies (British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories) from as early as September to late May or yearlong for some summits (peaks). Avalanche is a common phenomenon for this part of North America and with more and more human activities ranging from infrastructure to backcountry trips. Fatalities, road and rail closures and delays are on the rise and costing millions of dollars to the Canadian economy.

In the past few decades, Canada has developed a high level of expertise to better control avalanche and save lives. This article depicts how the Canadian army (National Defense and the Canadian Forces), Parks Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Association, Avalanche Canada (Center) and several other stakeholders have developed and implemented tools and methods to protect everybody. (KEYWORDS: avalanche, monitoring, awareness, protection, winter, snow, Western Canada)