The Canadian Press
Snowmobilers heading into big-mountain terrain will soon be
able to take advantage of information from a new project aimed at preventing
deaths and injuries in big-mountain terrain across western Canada.
Canadian Avalanche Centre director Ian Tomm said the
three-year project is necessary because high-tech snowmobiles are allowing
people into potentially dangerous areas.
"All of a sudden we're finding that even entry-level
snowmobilers nowadays can go places where advanced snowmobilers 10 years could
not," he said.
The aim of the $679,000 federal grant to the Canadaian
Avalanche Centre is to ensure snowmobilers have the same level of safety
education about the risks of slides that backcountry skiers have been getting
for decades, Tomm said.
"We need to develop that culture of avalanche safety
and awareness that's developed over the last 30 years in the skiing
The project will start this year with research into the
snowmobiling community through a partnership with Simon Fraser
University and work with
provincial snowmobiling organizations to do trail surveys.
By the next snow season, information targeting snowmobilers
will be available in newspapers, brochures and the Internet and a network of
instructors will provide two- and four-day courses in the field, Tomm said.
A snowmobiler died at the beginning of the snow season north
of Prince George.
(SnoWest ED—It was
interesting to read some of the comments at the end of the article. To see
them, go here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/01/21/bc-avalanche-funding.html)