Avalanche Program

Information on how our Avalanche Safety Program keeps our roads safe, constantly monitoring conditions and closing-reopening roads to avoid disaster.

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What Do You Want to Know More About? Are you looking for something on TranBC but can’t find it? Or have a question about what the ministry does and why we do it? Share your question with us and we’ll try to get you an answer. Who knows – your question could be our next blog! Thank you – we couldn’t do this without YOU.

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Double Avalanche: All the Way

Sometimes, the sheer power and raw beauty of nature (with a little help from us, for safety’s sake) are so overwhelming, you just have to sit back and say, “Like, wow man. Double avalanche! All the way!” (much a like a certain popular rainbow video) That’s exactly what we did when we received this footage from our avalanche team late last week after they finished up some control work on BC Highway 3 near Fernie. Pretty amazing stuff, eh?...

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The Web Cams You Won’t See on DriveBC

While we have about 430 web cams offering more than 800 views that motorists use for safe travel in BC, we have other web cams with a special job, that you won’t see. One that you won’t spot on DriveBC ┬áis near Highway 31 north of Kaslo, because its focus isn’t road conditions — it’s Lardeau Bluffs, which loom high above the road along Kootenay Lake. Avalanche technicians with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure use the web cam...

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Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: What the Heck Do We Do, Anyway?

With a broad name like Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there are bound to be questions. Like small-talk at a cocktail party, those 13 syllables beg the question: “So, what do you do?” Our Way is the Highway When thinking about the ministry, the first thing that pops into your head is likely B.C. highways. That’s because about 80 per cent of what we do involves building, rehabilitating and maintaining provincial highways to keep you moving safely and goods...

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Photo Blog: Avalanche Control Over BC Highways

Photo Blog: Avalanche Control Over BC Highways

Avalanches are mesmerizing – at least from a safe distance, whether that be via video, photograph, or directly from a helicopter. No one gets closer to the action than our avalanche control technicians. They trek to remote mountainside avalanche weather stations (all 58 of them) and trigger blasts with strange-sounding equipment such as Gazex Exploders and Daisy Bells. So, who better to capture the awe inspiring images of avalanche control work? In celebration of this weekend’s Avalanche Awareness Days,...

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Avalanche Control: Timing “Train Travel” on Bear Pass

Q. What train can travel 70 possible routes over a glacier, from 2,500 metre-high mountain tops down to near sea level, in about 20 seconds? A. An “avalanche train” in Bear Pass. An avalanche train is the sudden release of a large mass of snow or ice. Triggered by natural or human forces, it collects even more snow, ice and debris with it, as it thunders downward. In Bear Pass, a 65-kilometre stretch of Highway 37A, between Meziadin Junction...

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What’s it Like? An Interview with a BC Avalanche Tech

Winter safety

We’ve had a lot of interest in our avalanche program lately, so we thought we’d give you an inside look at what goes on there. Meet Avalanche Tech Robb Andersen. Robb’s been working in avalanche safety since 1994, and he’s been with the ministry since 2004, working the snowy slopes in different areas throughout the province. He was in Stewart working Bear Pass when they had their biggest winter in 30 years, and he’s also spent a lot of...

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Our Avalanche Crews Know Snow Flow

Avalanche Helicopter

How We Trigger Avalanches to Make Our Roads Safer for Travellers The snow falls thick and fast, and the mountain slopes become more and more unstable. Is it enough to set off an avalanche? Luckily, if you’re driving the mountain passes in B.C., you don’t really have to worry about it, because our Avalanche Safety Program folks are on the job 24-hours a day to keep you safe on your travels. Apart from constantly monitoring the snow conditions, an...

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