It’s avalanche season again, and Parks Canada will be periodically conducting avalanche control on all avalanche paths that threaten major highways in Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks. If you’re planning on climbing or skiing in Banff, Yoho, or Kootenay Parks this winter, you need to be aware of which areas may be affected by avalanche control, and how to check if there is any control planned in these areas.
There will be signage located at common trailheads for climbing on Mounts Bourgeau (Banff), Stephen and Dennis (Yoho), and skiing on Mt. Whymper (Kootenay).
If the signage indicates that avalanche control is planned, the area is closed for recreation: DO NOT ENTER. Most of the time, the signage will indicate that there is no avalanche control planned, and the area will be open for recreation.
In addition to the signage, Parks Canada will post a warning to the public avalanche bulletin for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay, Parksmountainsafety Twitter and Facebook, the MCR, and community webpages such as Gravsports-ice.com, and Big-lines.com.
Remember, Parks Canada is conducting avalanche control to protect the highways, and is NOT making the areas safe for recreation.
Finally, be on the lookout for undetonated explosives while recreating in these areas, and contact Parks Canada at 403-762-1470, if any are found.
Please respect this system and check for closures before recreating in these areas, so that we can all continue enjoying the permit-free system that exists in Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks.
Have a safe winter!