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Avalanche Canada Foundation

We are the federally registered charity that supports the work of Avalanche Canada—the national public avalanche safety organization. Avalanche Canada works to eliminate avalanche fatalities and injuries through a multi-pronged approach that includes daily public avalanche forecasts and a standardized curriculum for avalanche safety training.

Our Story

Why We Exist

Avalanches are Canada’s deadliest natural hazard, killing more people annually than all other natural hazards combined. Avalanche Canada works to empower winter backcountry users with world-leading educational programs, innovative decision-making tools and accurate, timely avalanche forecasts.

 

Our Impact

What We Do

Our charity is dedicated to raising funds for Avalanche Canada. Through the work of Avalanche Canada, winter backcountry users are provided with a safety net of programs that help them make good decisions while travelling in avalanche terrain. These programs include daily public avalanche forecasts for western Canada, public avalanche safety education, and training seminars targeting the diverse demographic of users who enjoy Canada’s spectacular snowy backcountry.

Did You Know?

While most avalanche fatalities (about 80%) occur in BC, almost half of the victims over the past decade were residents of Alberta. And of all snowmobilers killed in avalanches in BC, about two-thirds were from Alberta.

But Avalanche Canada’s programs are making a difference. On average, 11 people die each year in avalanches. This number is the lowest it’s been since the mid-90s. Considering the exponential increase in winter backcountry use over the past 20 years, this is a remarkable achievement.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Avalanche Canada’s programs are internationally recognized and used as benchmarks by other alpine countries. The most visible product is the daily avalanche forecast, delivered free to the public through avalanche.ca and the mobile app. These forecast regions cover over 300,000 sq km of mountainous terrain. In terms of geography, Avalanche Canada is the largest avalanche forecasting program in the world, by far.

Avalanche Canada’s forecasting programs also include:

  • Regular blogs throughout the season, with videos, images and more in-depth analysis on snowpack conditions.
  • Field teams in the South Rockies and the Yukon, gathering data for their regional forecasts. Based in Fernie and Whitehorse respectively, these avalanche technicians also do important outreach with their local communities.
  • The Mountain Information Network incorporates allows users to share their own information and observations, which are then geo-tagged to the main page map at avalanche.ca
  • The Mountain Weather Forecast provides users with the best publicly available synopsis and analysis of western Canada’s weather.

Avalanche Canada has also developed a number of specialized services that complement the forecasting programs by providing users with comprehensive educational tools. This includes:

  • Online programs, including an avalanche tutorial and our trip planner
  • The Avalanche Canada Training program provides a standardized curriculum for recreational avalanche training. Close to 12,000 people took a course over the winter 2019.
  • Outreach events including Backcountry Avalanche Workshops and Avalanche Awareness Days. Communities across Canada participate in these events.
  • The youth program provides direct delivery of avalanche education to students K-12 in Alberta and BC.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

Avalanche Canada’s programs and services are provided for free but they are the result of significant investment. If you, or someone you care about, use any of these services, please consider making a $100 donation to the Avalanche Canada Foundation  today. You will receive a tax receipt and your generosity will help to ensure that Avalanche Canada can continue to innovate and inspire.

We’re immensely proud of the work done at Avalanche Canada and we hope you are too. Together let’s make every winter backcountry trip a safe one. Your support is appreciated!

 

 

 

Stay Connected

Contact

Gord Ritchie

President

403.678.1235

Charitable Number: 869000349RR0001

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