Get prepared for an avalanche

An illustration of an avalanche

If you plan on exploring in and around the mountains, make sure you have the necessary skills and training. 

Know your gear

Each person travelling in your group needs their own transceiver, shovel and probe. Before you leave, practice using your gear.

Avalanche Canada has a basic avalanche awareness course online.

Check the weather

When planning a trip it’s important to monitor conditions closely up to one week before you leave. Check Avalanche Canada’s Forecast Bulletin for advisories and special information.

If you are going to a national park, visit Parks Canada’s Avalanche Bulletin and Warning Centre.

4-7 days before

Call Environment Canada’s Pacific Storm Prediction centre at 1-900-565-555 or 1-888-292-2222.

For a small fee, you can consult directly with a meteorologist. Explain where you’re going and at what elevations you’ll be travelling. If the forecast is stormy, think about alternate plans, postponing or cancelling altogether.

3 days before

Check for Special weather statements.

These are the least urgent alerts issued by Environment Canada. They're intended to advise of unusual, inconvenient or potentially hazardous conditions over the longer term (more than 24 hours).

24 hours before

Check for Weather warnings.

These are urgent advisories that severe weather is either occurring or will occur. Even if there are no warnings, it’s a good idea to call the Pacific Storm Prediction Centre again. Reiterate the specifics of your trip and amend your plans if necessary.

Plan your trip

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This will help authorities search for you in the event of an emergency. You can use a trip planning tool like Adventure Smart, or tips on travelling in an avalanche area, to help you do this.