January 9, 2020, Revelstoke, BC — Snowmobilers in the Kakwa region, which straddles the border between Alberta and BC, will now be able to access avalanche forecasts via their Garmin inReach devices. Avalanche Canada is launching a pilot project to provide a shortened version of the North Rockies forecast tailored to the Kakwa region, and delivered by inReach.
“The Kakwa riding area is unique as most users spend the weekend camping with no cell phone service,” said James Floyer, forecast program supervisor with Avalanche Canada. “Our North Rockies forecast was introduced earlier this season and now we can provide users in the Kakwa with essential safety information to help them with their decision making while they are away from internet service.”
The first Kakwa forecast will be sent via satellite text message on Friday, January 10. This service will be provided Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holiday Mondays throughout the winter until mid-April.
The Kakwa forecast contains the avalanche danger rating for treeline and alpine terrain, will indicate if there is a persistent slab problem present in the snowpack, and provide some travel advice.
The Kakwa region is generally accessed via a trail groomed by the Swan City Snowmobile Club in Grande Prairie. Club President Lou Maffret says, “We are very grateful Avalanche Canada is providing these forecasts to our club members and other riders in the Kakwa. These forecasts will help us make better decisions and give our loved ones back home peace of mind when we are out enjoying this spectacular riding area.”
To find out how to subscribe to this service, visit avalanche.ca/inreach.