There's plenty of snow in B.C.'s backcountry and outdoor enthusiasts are being reminded about the importance of staying safe.
Avalanche Awareness Days run Jan. 19-20, and provide an excellent opportunity for outdoor adventurers to learn how to be prepared before heading into the backcountry.
Every year approximately 14 people across Canada die in avalanches and of those, about 80 per cent happen in B.C. That's why Avalanche Awareness Days provide a great opportunity to learn about safety in the backcountry from top technical experts.
Events are planned for both days at numerous locations around the province including Garibaldi Provincial Park and Mount Seymour Provincial Park.
Here are some valuable tips:
- Sign up for an avalanche skills training course - a list of instructors and courses can be found here.
- Plan ahead - before you head outdoors be sure to leave a trip plan with someone and stick to that plan. For a printable copy of a trip plan visit here.
- Having the proper equipment is essential - ensure it's in working order and practice with it before heading into the backcountry. More information on safety equipment is available here.
- Winter conditions in B.C.'s backcountry can change rapidly. Get the most recent bulletin and weather forecasts here.
- The B.C. government has provided the Canadian Avalanche Centre with a total of $1,490,000 since 2001.
- This has enabled the Centre to enhance the public avalanche warning service - bulletins are now issued every day in most regions and include region-specific information, improving safety for all backcountry users.
- The Canadian Avalanche Centre also received $250,000 in provincial gaming grants for this year, which will enhance public outreach and awareness programs along with public avalanche warning services.
Learn more: For more information on events during Avalanche Awareness Days, visit here.
Avalanche information from Emergency Management BC is available here.
For backcountry essentials and avalanche awareness information go here.