October 1st, 2021

Avalanche Canada Expands Service, Including Forecasts for Vancouver Island

Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Warning Service Expansion

The world’s largest public avalanche forecasting program has gotten even bigger.

Avalanche Canada has announced that they will be providing regular forecasts for Vancouver Island for the first time this winter.

For the past 14 years, Vancouver Island forecasts were provided by the volunteer-run Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre Society, which actively fundraised to support their forecasts. Avalanche Canada will build on the foundation already established there by the society.

A new Avalanche Canada field team, based out of Campbell River, will be responsible for collecting snow, weather, and avalanche data for the forecasts, developing partnerships with local stakeholders, and making connections with Island recreationists. This increases Avalanche Canada’s forecasting reach to 15 regions in western Canada.

Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Warning Service Expansion

A second new field team has also been established for northwest BC, based out of Smithers. This team will fill an important role collecting data that will help improve forecasts in these regions.

Avalanche Canada Service Expansion_

In a further expansion of services, Avalanche Canada will provide daily forecasts for the North Rockies and Yukon regions this winter—up from four times a week last year.

The organization is also starting a pilot project to provide weekend forecasts for Newfoundland’s Long Range Mountains.

This ambitious expansion requires a significant investment in new staff and equipment. Two new three-person field teams and four new forecasters have been hired, and all teams require trucks, sleds and safety equipment.

Avalanche Canada is excited to bring this increased level of service to all backcountry users in these areas.