Large Controlled Avalanches in BC

G3 athlete Orry Grant doubles as an avalanche control professional for BC Highways. He kindly submitted this educational video he received, description below.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is responsible for maintaining public safety on B.C.'s highways, and minimizing the frequency and duration of avalanche related closures. As the busiest avalanche program in B.C., Kootenay Pass has several different methods of control. Although most of the time our avalanche problem can be dealt with in under 2 hours, there are times when a deeper snowpack instability, left uncontrolled, could pose a danger to B.C.'s commuters. In a case like this, we have to close the road and use the appropriate method of avalanche control.

This video, shot last year by Mark Talbot, and Matt Foley is a day of helicopter explosives control. We had a deep persistent weak layer, and large deposits of snow were left on the road.

So next time you're wondering why it can sometimes take so long to re-open the highway; consider the size of our driveway, and the amount of snow that the road crew has to plow. Thanks for your patience!

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