Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon issued the following statement on avalanche awareness:
“Alberta is blessed with the beautiful Rocky Mountains, but that also means we are no stranger to avalanches.
“Avalanche Awareness Days, Jan. 18-19, is an important opportunity to remind winter recreationists of the tools available to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in our mountain regions.
“Avalanche Canada, in partnership with the Government of Alberta and other Canadian jurisdictions, agencies and organizations, provides a suite of services – including daily avalanche forecasts, avalanche safety training and focused outreach programs and events – that educate winter backcountry recreationists and travellers of imminent avalanche danger and conditions. In doing so, visitors to our avalanche regions are better prepared when they sled, ski, snowshoe and hike Alberta’s mountain winter playground.
“I wish to commend frontline staff, including Environment and Parks Kananaskis Public Safety team, for their expertise, commitment and response to avalanche incidents, prevention and safety, knowing in some situations they risk their own lives in service to others. It is imperative that winter recreationists be aware of the eventuality of an avalanche through a few simple preparations, like checking avalanche forecasts and accessing Avalanche Canada’s training courses.
“The Scouts’ motto, ‘Be Prepared,’ is an applicable piece of avalanche advice to help reduce the loss of life that is unfortunately inherent in some winter mountain pursuits, especially in the backcountry.
“Play safe and be prepared.”