By Laura Keil
On July 20th, workers at the Valemount Bike Park heard a massive rock slide come down on the north side of Swift Creek (Swift Mountain). Later they captured the video below of the slide, which continued to be active throughout the day, kicking up large amounts of dust. Mayor Owen Torgerson said staff are looking into the impact of the slide, but so far he hasn’t heard of any problems and the creek water is running clear. The slide occurred in the Swift Creek Watershed which is the source of the Village’s drinking water.
UPDATE July 23rd:
Village staff flew over the slide in a helicopter and continue to monitor the situation.
“One of the best indications of a problem would be a sudden spike in turbidity,” said Village CAO Wayne Robinson. “Our water treatment plant will alert us of any sudden spikes in turbidity levels.”
He said since this rock fall event was first noticed, we have not experienced any rise in the turbidity of the creek.
“From our survey by helicopter, we did not see enough rock above the scree slope that could reach the Creek if it were to all let go at once,” he said, adding there are too many mature trees between the base of the slope and the Creek. “Although the falling rock is ongoing, the dust it creates makes it appear worse than it really is. “
VIDEO CREDIT: ANDRU MCCRACKEN