Avalanche Awareness

In Vancouver you have the ocean to the West and the mountains to the North & East, like a big hug, offering closure and a sense of comfort from all sides. Okay well in my mind, that’s how I think about it anyway. The mountains are also a source of outdoor fun, whether you’re doing the Grouse Grind in the summer or tubing, skiing and boarding in the winter. With the weather we’ve been having though, they’ve become pretty dangerous and some warnings have been issued, including a special day dedicated to Avalanche awareness up on Grouse yesterday as a part of “Avalanche Awareness Days” Jan. 12-14, 2007.

Over the past decade in Canada, an average of 15 people have been killed and 75 injured by avalanches each year. There were seven avalanche related deaths in British Columbia in 2005.

“It’s a very simple message that I want all outdoor enthusiasts to understand,” added Les [John Les, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General]. “British Columbia is a fantastic place to play and be healthy, but everyone should be properly prepared before they go outdoors.

Avalanche Awareness Days will take place this weekend at ski hills throughout B.C. including the North Shore, where AdventureSmart teams will participate in avalanche safety demonstrations, and winter outdoor safety clinics at Grouse Mountain.

An AdventureSmart team will also take part in the Avalanche Awareness Days activities at Sun Peaks Ski Resort in Kamloops. The teams are part of the AdventureSmart program, which is managed by the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) in partnership with the B.C. Search and Rescue Association and the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. AdventureSmart provides a broad range of programs that encourage the safe participation in outdoor activities. [GovBC]

For more information on Avalanche Awareness Days and other outdoor safety information, check the following websites: www.adventuresmart.ca, www.pep.bc.ca, and www.avalanche.ca

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