Trans-Canada Highway reopens after avalanche hazard closure

It's been a frustrating morning for people trying to head west into B.C. after avalanche conditions closed many highways.

Highway closures over the past day have caused a backlog of westbound traffic

Semi-trailers heading to B.C. had to wait in Alberta after many major highways between the two provinces were closed down because of avalanche hazards. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

It's been a frustrating morning for people trying to head west into B.C. after avalanche conditions closed many highways.​

The Trans-Canada between Lake Louise and Golden, B.C., has reopened after a high avalanche hazard closed the highway down Monday.

An avalanche also buried a section of Highway 16 near Valemount, B.C., Monday night, but RCMP say no one was injured

The highway closures are having a big impact on truckers as many have been waiting since Monday to get through to B.C.

Gary Bruys pulled over near Cochrane, Alta., on his way from Manitoba to B.C.

"I've been doing this 30 years, it happens this stuff. You can't do much about it, just park and wait," he said.

Rough conditions this year

Bruys says he is spending his time reading and sleeping, but doesn't get paid when this happens. He says it seems avalanche-related road closures have been happening more often in recent years.

"It affects everybody but that's just the way it is...  you get used to it," he said.

Experts agree conditions are worse this year than in other years in recent memory.

Karl Klassen, manager of the Canadian Avalanche Centre's Public Avalanche Warning Service, says it's a complex and highly variable snow pack.

"It's a little bit trickier than what we have seen in the last couple of years," he said.

He says some areas will be unstable for the rest of the season, but it will all depend on how much snow falls, the temperatures and the wind.


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