Climbers find undetonated explosive in Jasper National Park
'It is believed that it was used back in the day for avalanche control'
A group of climbers is being praised by RCMP after they found — and didn't meddle with — an unexploded ordnance Thursday in Jasper National Park.
An unexploded ordnance, or UXO, is an unexploded weapon, like a bomb or grenade.
"We can't say for sure what it was used for, but it is believed that it was used back in the day for avalanche control," RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jon Cormier told CBC News Saturday. It dates back to the Second World War, according to the RCMP.
Climbers from the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides found the device above the snow line on the north side of Mount Athabasca, about 105 kilometres southeast from the Jasper town site. They photographed the device before leaving it undisturbed.
The discovery was reported to Jasper RCMP around 2 p.m., and a public notice to avoid the area was sent out, RCMP said in a news release Saturday.
The RCMP explosives disposal unit worked with the Department of National Defence to find a way to deal with the explosive.
The next day, the explosive ordnance disposal team from the Wainwright Canadian Forces Base in Denwood, Alta., 200 km east of Edmonton, joined members from Jasper Park Visitor Safety, who helped navigate the hazardous terrain on Mount Athabasca.
The disposal team blew up the device in place, Jasper RCMP said in the news release.
"The [climbers] who located, photographed, reported and ultimately did not interfere with the UXO are commended for the action they took."
RCMP warned people should never touch an object that resembles something that could detonate.
"This potentially dangerous situation was handled effectively because of the proper action being taken at the outset," RCMP said.
With files from the Canadian Press