Posts Tagged ‘ Avalanche Control ’

Avalanche Closure Time Cut by Explosive Innovation

The Kootenay Pass avalanche team wanted to shorten road closures due to avalanche control, because at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure our biggest drive is to keep people and goods moving efficiently and safely along BC highways. When the new avalanche explosion hardware and software were installed in 2015, BC became the first Gazex system user in the world, to not only suggest this change, but to incorporate new software successfully into an existing system.

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How to Keep Traffic Moving in Avalanche Country

  It looks like something out of Star Wars. Large metal towers dominating a vantage point over a frozen cliff face that suddenly drop explosives charges, triggering a wall of snow that cascades down the mountain. But this isn’t science fiction. It’s a new technology designed to make roads safer and cut down on traffic headaches. It’s called a Remote Avalanche Control System, or RACS, and this winter we’re piloting it along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway called...

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What it’s Like to Watch an Avalanche from a Helicopter

For most people, avalanches incite terror (for good reason!), and should be avoided at all times. But what is true for backcountry enthusiasts doesn’t apply to our ministry avalanche technicians. For them, uniting snow and gravity is a way of life – performed from a safe distance in the name of highway safety. Our crews recently captured video footage of two methods of avalanche control at separate ends of the province: Bear Pass and Kootenay Pass. And it’s pretty...

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Behind the Scenes: Hanging From a Rock Face for Avalanche Safety

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Avalanche and Weather Program is changing the landscape of avalanche control in Canada. Dropping explosives from a helicopter has traditionally been our weapon of choice for triggering controlled avalanches. But some challenging terrain on Yellowhead Highway 16, between Terrace and Prince Rupert, has compelled our avalanche team to try harnessing snow and ice rather than letting it loose. In fall 2014, crews completed Canada’s second ever avalanche fencing installation at the 35 Mile...

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The Web Cam You Won’t See on DriveBC

While we have close to 300 web cams offering a total of almost 400 views that motorists use for safe travel in B.C., there’s one web cam with a special job that you won’t see. You won’t see the web cam alongside Highway 31 north of Kaslo, on DriveBC, because its focus isn’t road conditions – it’s Lardeau Bluffs, which loom high above the road along Kootenay Lake. Avalanche technicians with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure use the...

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Our Avalanche Crews Know Snow Flow

Avalanche Helicopter

How We Trigger Avalanches to Make Our Roads Safer for Travellers The snow falls thick and fast, and the mountain slopes become more and more unstable. Is it enough to set off an avalanche? Luckily, if you’re driving the mountain passes in B.C., you don’t really have to worry about it, because our avalanche and weather folks are on the job 24-hours a day to keep you safe on your travels. Apart from constantly monitoring the snow conditions, an...

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