Posts Tagged ‘ BC Avalanche Program ’

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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Photo Blog: Avalanche Control Over BC Highways

Photo Blog: Avalanche Control Over BC Highways

Avalanches are mesmerizing – at least from a safe distance, whether that be via video, photograph, or directly from a helicopter. No one gets closer to the action than our avalanche control technicians. They trek to remote mountainside avalanche weather stations (all 58 of them) and trigger blasts with strange-sounding equipment such as Gazex Exploders and Daisy Bells. So, who better to capture the awe inspiring images of avalanche control work? In celebration of this weekend’s Avalanche Awareness Days,...

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Avalanche Control: Timing “Train Travel” on Bear Pass

Q. What train can travel 70 possible routes over a glacier, from 2,500 metre-high mountain tops down to near sea level, in about 20 seconds? A. An “avalanche train” in Bear Pass. An avalanche train is the sudden release of a large mass of snow or ice. Triggered by natural or human forces, it collects even more snow, ice and debris with it, as it thunders downward. In Bear Pass, a 65-kilometre stretch of Highway 37A, between Meziadin Junction...

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What’s it Like? An Interview with a BC Avalanche Tech

Winter safety

We’ve had a lot of interest in our avalanche program lately, so we thought we’d give you an inside look at what goes on there. Meet Avalanche Tech Robb Andersen. Robb’s been working in avalanche safety since 1994, and he’s been with the ministry since 2004, working the snowy slopes in different areas throughout the province. He was in Stewart working Bear Pass when they had their biggest winter in 30 years, and he’s also spent a lot of...

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