British Columbia

Daily avalanche updates needed for North Rockies says expert

An avalanche researcher is renewing calls for daily snowpack forecasts for the North Rockies after a man was killed Saturday morning by an avalanche.

Most regions in B.C. receive daily snowpack updates, but the North Rockies only get them once a week

A snowmobiler died Saturday morning in an avalanche in the Torpy region of the northern Rockies. (Canadian Snowmobile Adventures/Canadian Press)

Snowmobilers and skiers in northern B.C. need daily avalanche updates, not weekly ones, in order to stay safe, according to an avalanche technician.

An avalanche researcher is renewing calls for daily snowpack forecasts for the North Rockies after a man was killed while snowmobiling Saturday morning by an avalanche in the Torpy region, 100 kilometres east of Prince George.

The B.C. Coroners Service identified him Tuesday as 41-year old Angelo Kenneth Carpino of Prince George.

Avalanche Canada provides weekly updates for the region, but other areas like Sea-to-Sky, receive daily forecasts.

"Those weekly avalanche forecasts are outdated, sometimes before they are even published," said Andrew Duncan, an avalanche technician and MA candidate in environmental studies and communications at Royal Roads University.

It's a matter of funding, because accurate snowpack readings require people on the ground.

"There's just not the ... heli-ski operations, the cat ski operations, or people going into the Rockies enough to get an assessment of what's going on with the snowpack," said Duncan.

But he admits the North Rockies is a difficult and expensive area to monitor

"You're looking at a landmass about the size of Switzerland."

People planning to head out can check snowpack conditions using the Avalanche Canada app, available on iPhone and Android.

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Avalanche technician calls for more frequent updates for North Rockies.


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