Updated danger scale for avalanches unveiled - Metro US

Updated danger scale for avalanches unveiled

The federal government released an updated avalanche warning system yesterday that doesn’t restrict access to Canada’s vast wilderness.

Just four days after an avalanche came down on a group of snowmobilers in Revelstoke, B.C., killing two and injuring 31, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced in Calgary a new danger scale that continues to have five conditions ranging from low to extreme.

Prentice said improvements were made to paint a clearer picture of the risk involved, with warnings that show the likelihood of avalanches being triggered, their expected size and whether travel is recommended. Icons are used for people who might not be able to read the warnings.

Outdoor enthusiast Krista Thibodeau said she likes the new system and that she’s glad her access to the backcountry won’t be restricted.

“It’s impossible to monitor all the backcountry and as a skier or snowboarder you should know your limitations,” Thibodeau said. “But I think the new system allows people to make better-informed decisions about the risks involved.”

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