You must be aware of avalanche dangers when snowmobiling in British Columbia’s mountains. According to Avalanche Canada (AvCan), over 90% of avalanches are triggered by a snowmobile rider, someone in the snowmobile rider’s group, or someone who is not in the riding group. It is essential for all snowmobile riders to carry and know how to use rescue gear, which includes a transceiver, a probe, and a shovel. You can reduce the risk of avalanches and the likelihood you’ll have to use rescue gear by getting proper avalanche skills training, checking the avalanche forecast, and making a riding plan based on the current avalanche conditions.
Though avalanche areas may be posted, you still should be prepared. AvCan recommends that you:
- Get the Gear: Ensure everyone in your group has an avalanche transceiver, a probe, and a shovel on their person and knows how to use them. For more information about avalanche gear, go to the recommended gear information on the AvCan website.
- Get the Training: Take an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course. For more information about avalanche courses, go to the training information on the AvCan website.
- Get the Forecast: Make a riding plan based on the current avalanche and weather forecast. For more information about the avalanche forecast for your area, go to the AvCan website or download the AvCan mobile app for Apple Devices or Android Devices
- Get the Picture If you see recent avalanche activity, unstable snow exists. Riding on or underneath steep slopes is dangerous.
- Get Out of Harm’s Way Don’t go to help your stuck friend. One at a time on all avalanche slopes. Don’t group up in runout zones.
5 Key Messages for Avalanche Safety Awareness and Training courtesy of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA)
Download the AvCan’s quick reference guide for companion rescue.