New avalanche detection system reduces related road closures near Bear Pass over 40%
(Photo supplied by Avalanche Canada)
A new automated avalanche detection system has helped reduce avalanche risk on Highway 37A through Bear Pass according to the province.
The high-tech system gathers data about moving snow and ice masses, sending real-time avalanche notifications, data, and imagery to B.C.’s avalanche professionals through their cellphones.
According to a statement, the technology helps B.C. avalanche professionals monitor avalanche activity during the day or night and in any weather condition.
Since the implementation of the system in November, the avalanche team has been able to reduce avalanche related road closures by over 40%.
“British Columbia has one of the world’s most challenging avalanche management areas, and we have highly trained professionals who manage avalanche risk with timely preventative closures and targeted avalanche control,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Claire Trevena.
According to the province, over the last 35 years, the average of preventative and unscheduled road closures along the Bear Pass was approximately 88 hours per year.
“I have personal experience of how deadly avalanches can be in this area. This technology helps manage avalanche risk in the Bear Pass, improving safety and access for workers, Stewart community members, and visitors.
As of Saturday (May 30), the automated avalanche detection system will have completed the first year of a three-year pilot project.