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

Osoyoos knife-wielding woman wins appeal to reduce sentence

Court of Appeal settled that the sentencing judge erred in principle, and the sentence was unfit

FortisBC offers 90-day bill deferrals to customers impacted by COVID-19

Customers can apply for the relief program through the utility’s website

Online marketplace for downtown Penticton businesses an opportunity to support local

Marketplace will help support local businesses and assist customers in finding goods and services

RCMP pursuit in Okanagan Falls leads to arrest of Penticton man

Seamus Kirby of Penticton is facing numerous charges including flight from police

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read