Snow avalanche risk management
Managing the risks from snow avalanches during winter mountain travel is vital for the Canadian avalanche industry. An average of 14 avalanche-related fatalities per year occurred between 1997 and 2014 with the majority of those
triggering the avalanches themselves. We propose a detailed examination of avalanche risk management practices using the conceptual model for avalanche hazard and the Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing 5-Step Checklist System.
Although widely adopted by the Canadian avalanche community, the conceptual model of avalanche hazard has not been thoroughly analyzed. We will collect field observations of weather, snow cover, avalanches, and terrain use from
the MWHS operation. We will statistically analyze these data to examine the relationships proposed in the conceptual model. This research will strengthen our understanding of avalanche risk, and provide important insight about how to
improve existing operational practices and communications about hazard.