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Safety on the Slopes

March 26, 2010 — The Canadian Avalanche Centre has advice for anyone planning to go snowmobiling this weekend. Click the video on the left to find out more.

What started out as a fairly quiet avalanche season in British Columbia became a tragic one this month, with three deadly slides occurring in only one week. And the weather is a big reason why.

'It's ... due to the un-normal weather we've been seeing the last couple of years and again this season,' Avalanche safety instructor Niko Weis told Weather Network reporter Oga Nwobosi. 'The snowpack is a lot like a layer cake and for the most part what we hope for are simple avalanches where the icing falls off the top of the cake. what we don't want are the persistent instabilities that we have this year where we have structural defects deeper in the cake.'

Out of the nine avalanche fatalities so far this season, five have been snowmobilers. Two were killed on March 13th when a slide came crashing down on Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke.

Weis has these tips for anyone planning to go snowmobiling during the remainder of the season:

  • One person at a time on a slope
  • Park your snowmobile aiming to your escape route
  • Choose smaller, less complex slopes that are less likely to give way
  • Familiarize yourself with the weather conditions
Make sure you check our ski report before you head out at any time. You can find it above under the Related Links.

And for all the latest information on weather conditions, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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