Hiking This Spring? Watch Out for Avalanches!

Lisa C. Community, Daily Life, Newcomer Information

In the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people choose to explore the beauty of nature outdoors to avoid the danger of getting infected indoors, including many newcomers to Canada. Knowing how to stay safe from avalanches during the spring season is crucial when you explore the Albertan mountains!

What is an avalanche?
  • Avalanche is when a mass of ice and snow (or rocks and earth) rapidly fall down a mountainside.
  • Avalanches can occur on slopes as shallow as 15 degrees.
  • Never underestimate the danger of an avalanche! A small one can also shove an individual over a cliff.
Craving for a hike this spring? Check before you go!
  • Parks Canada provides public avalanche information on their website: https://avalanche.pc.gc.ca/bulletin-eng.aspx and the regions covered are rated from 1 to 5, 1 being low, and 5 extremely dangerous.
  • Check avalanche information regularly in the days or even weeks before your planned trip.
  • Understand the risks involved and make informed decisions before you go.
  • When you arrive at the trailhead, check for signs that warn you of avalanche.
If you are an inexperienced outdoor adventurer, please consult someone who’s more experienced, or contact the tourist information centre of the town/region you plan to visit for more information!

Word of the Day:

Throes: extremely hard or intense struggle. “In the throes of” means “in the middle of dealing with great difficulties”.

More information:

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/mtn/securiteenmontagne-mountainsafety/avalanche

https://avalanche.pc.gc.ca/