The Snow War – 1979 Rogers Pass Avalanche Control Short Film
The National Film Board of Canada has recently digitized the film The Snow War, directed by Harold Tichenor in 1979. The film describes the efforts of a mobile avalanche-control team to keep open Rogers Pass, a vital transportation corridor situated in Glacier National Park, British Columbia.
The film showcases the methods used by the Parks Canada avalanche control team in the late ’70s to keep the corridor safe. Highlights of the short film include a dramatic search-and-rescue operation of an avalanche victim, the use of military ammunition operations to control the hazard level and some rare footage of large avalanches in the Pass.
Although the technology used by the avalanche control teams has been significantly modernized since the time when the film was produced, in some ways the same techniques used to measure and mitigate the avalanche hazard are relevant and still in use by the team today.
For mountain sledders who traverse this pass to access riding destinations on either side in Golden or Revelstoke and beyond, this is a fantastic dive into the history of the control methods that help keep Rogers Pass open and safe for travel throughout the long winter.
The film is available for streaming free of charge on The NFB Canada platform at: https://www.nfb.ca/film/the-snow-war/