The definitive source for Avalanche Forecasting and Mountain Weather for British Columbia is Avalanche Canada. More info on this source is presented at the bottom of the post.
As many of our followers and supporters know, NSR is not strictly an emergency response organization. In fact, our stated mission involves so much more than responding to calls on our local mountains and in the community. NSR has a well supported mandate to engage in a wide range of prevention activities, largely focused around public education and cooperative activities with our partners to enhance backcountry safety (ie. trail marking, mapping, emergency caches, avalanche observations, etc.).
Avalanche safety and prevention is no stranger to NSR, having been one of the lead organizations on the North Shore Avalanche Advisory. In a continuation of this tradition, NSR has been able to establish an automatic weather reporting station with the assistance of our local community. This effort involved countless volunteer hours from North Shore Rescue members, as well as funding from the North Shore Triathlon and 137 person hours donated by Chris Soles, president of Nextgen Technologies, to install and program the station.
This station is now up and running, and will provide critical real-time data on:
Wind Speed & Direction
Relative Humidity (Dew Point)
This information will be shared with other professional winter operations and to the public through www.northshorerescue.com. This is in conjunction with cooperative agreements with the local ski hills to utilize snow study survey plot data, and information from the InfoeX professional network.
The public can also receive a up to date alpine weather forecast through the North Shore Rescue webpage by visiting our Avalanche Info page. Here we provide a regularly updated alpine weather forecast powered by RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists. Please check it out as part of your trip planning activities.
That said, for public avalanche forecasts and mountain weather forecasts for the entirety of British Columbia, the first stop should always be Avalanche Canada’s webpage. This site and the companion mobile application, is an great way of getting detailed information for trip planning. A new feature, which is of tremendous value, is the ability for the public to report avalanche observations directly through the internet to other users and to the public forecasters. We highly recommend that any backcountry enthusiast who heads out and makes observations on avalanche conditions, take a moment to report their findings.
The iphone and android application is a must have for anyone who heads up the mountains during winter conditions. It can be found for free at the:
Google Play Store
We also recommend that all public travelling into the mountains during the winter months take, at minimum, the AST 1 course through a local provider. Its a great way of learning basics of avalanche formation, critical companion rescue skills, proper travel techniques in avalanche terrain and how to use use the avaluator 2.0 as a decision making tool for trips.