Winter Safety Day Returns!
Alberta Parks put on Avalanche Awareness Days for several years, but cancelled them due to COVID and budget restrictions. The Friends then tried to take the event over. We expanded it to include ALL winter safety info, and tried to hold it in January 2022 – but COVID got in the way, and it was cancelled less than a week from the scheduled date.
Once again, Alberta Parks is bringing the event back, and The Friends are helping! We’re thrilled to be partnering with Parks staff to hold this event again. Together, we’re going to make the event bigger and better. We’re a GO for this coming Saturday, but BOOKMARK THIS PAGE and check it for last minute updates. And visit this page to see our winter safety tips!
Presenters Confirmed to Date:
- Alberta Parks Mountain Rescue Team: how avalanche forecasts are made. How snow pits are dug and analyzed;
- Alberta Parks Conservation Officers: Learnings from winter rescues. Avalanche transceiver search demos;
- Alberta Parks Park Rangers: Cold water safety and wild ice skating preparedness. How ice rescues are done and how to self-rescue. The 1-10-1 rule;
- Calgary Search and Rescue: The 10 essentials to carry; the importance of leaving a trip plan;
- Yamnuska Mountain Adventures: Avalanche probing & shovelling demos;
- Canadian Rockies Public School’s Outdoor Learning Centre: Learn how to start a fire. Making S’mores. Winter clothing;
- Foothills Search and Rescue: Emergency winter shelters – snow shelters you can improvise in an emergency;
- Java the Avalanche Rescue Dog: How dogs are trained and used in avi searching. Search demos;
- Bow Valley WildSmart and the Wildlife Ambassadors: Winter wildlife safety tips;
- Alberta Parks Trail Crew: Winter trail etiquette and safety. See how a groomer works;
- Alberta Parks Interpretation Staff: What to watch for in avalanche country, Identifying avalanche terrain. What you should be carrying;
- Alberta Parks Ecology & Education Staff: Come for a short walk and see what tracks we can find! How do animals handle cold weather?
- Canmore Area Mountain Bike Association: Grooming trails for FatBikes. Try a FatBike!
- SkiUphill: Picking backcountry gear. How to do field repairs. Why quality gear matters;
- Reps from RECCO: How RECCO devices work and help with searching;
- University of Calgary Biogeoscience Field Research Station: Identifying animal tracks in winter. Try snowshoeing, with free snowshoes to borrow!
- Friends of Kananaskis: Free hot dogs and hot chocolate!
We’re still confirming presenters and participants, so keep checking back with us as we get closer to the event!
This family oriented event is FREE to attend, and no reservations are required!
- The event will be held at the Burstall Pass parking lot on Highway 742. There are two routes to access the site. There is no public transit to the site.
- If coming from Calgary, drive west on the TransCanada to Highway 40. Head south on Hwy 40. At the winter gate, turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail. In 2 km, turn right onto Hwy 742. Head north for ~20 km and watch for signs.
- If coming from the Canmore area, head south on Hwy 742 for ~40 km and watch for signs.
- The event is open to the public from 11 AM to 3 PM. Public parking for the event will be in the Chester Lake parking area.
- Presenters should arrive between 9 & 10 AM to start set up. Parking and other volunteers will be there to help you set up.
- All attendees are encouraged to bring reusable mugs.
- While there will be snowshoes there to borrow for free, you are encouraged to bring your own if you wish to join any of the guided walks that will be offered.