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

Trail medical lab makes changes amid pandemic

Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.

Selkirk College gives back during COVID-19 crisis

Staff have been delivering grocery items and medical supplies to those in need during pandemic

Cominco, West Kootenay Power, perpetuated in place names

Place Names: Consolidated Mining and Smelting (CM&S) became Cominco, then Teck-Cominco, then Teck

Reminder to boarders, Trail Sk8Park is closed

Trail bylaw enforcement regularly patrols city playgrounds and parks

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read