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 Phone: +1 403 617-3668
e-mail:   bruce.jamieson@snowline.ca

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Some Facts about Avalanches

  • Dry avalanches can reach speeds of 50 to 200 km/h (30-120 mph).
  • Wet avalanches can reach speeds of 20 to 100 km/h (12-60 mph).
  • Large avalanches are capable of destroying a village or forest, although such avalanches are not common.
  • Over 600 people have died in avalanches in Canada since the 1800's.
  • Since the 1930's, most of the people caught and killed by avalanches in Canada have been recreationists.
  • From 1990 to 1999 in Canada, an average of 12.5 people per year died in avalanches.
  • From 1990 to 1999 in the United states, an average of 23 people per year died in avalanches.
  • Most avalanches that catch recreationists are triggered by the victim, or a member of the victim's party.
  • Many recreational avalanche accidents occur when the weather is fair.
  • In western Canada only about 1 in 3000 potentially destructive avalanches damages property or injures people. Many occur naturally in remote areas with few people and little developed property.


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