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

District of Kent prepares for urban beekeeping

Permits soon available for a number of residential zones

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

EDITORIAL: How Killer Bunnies helped save my life

“No matter what it is you’re into, it’s important to keep our minds working,” editor Adam Louis writes.

LETTER: Take only what you need

Anne White of Harrison comments on community response to COVID-19.

WATCH: Agassiz-Harrison celebrates National Puppy Day

Facebook followers posted 44 pictures of their furry friends

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read