Experience The Mountain Parks Blog
...all about the Alberta-to-British Columbia mountain parks, including life in and around the parks. Not all our news and stories are here, though, so you might want to check our news section and Bob's "tweets" —conveniently placed in the upper right of each page.
Definitely worth checking BEFORE heading to the mountains, this website is full of information on avalanches, photos and videos. Great website!!
Website address is www.VirtualMountains.ca
Press release excerpt:
Alberta designates grizzly bears a threatened species
Population and habitat mapping provide key information
Edmonton... The Alberta government has designated grizzly bears as a threatened species in an effort to better protect the bears and sustain the provincial population.
The designation is based on cutting-edge population research and habitat data, as well as a recommendation from the Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC), a group of stakeholders including ranchers, industry, academics, wildlife managers and conservation interests..."
Read the full press release here.
The Government of Alberta, Parks Division, concocted some short videos explaining how to avoid bear encounters and what to do in case of a bear encounter. Remember, Alberta and British Columbia are "bear countries" after all.
First video transcript:
"As park interpreters, we meet a lot of people who want to know what to do if a bear attacks.
But focusing on bear attacks really misses the point when we talk about bear and human safety. And it actually turns bears into something they aren't.
Bears aren't savage killers!...
About the only thing the bears in the Rocky Mountains viciously tear apart are wasps nests, ant hills and the roots of plants that make up their diet.
That's right! About 75 to 90% of a bear's diet is made up of plants--the rest being insects, ground squirrels, and the occasional dead animal.
By learning and practicing a few basic safety procedures while in bear country, your visit to the wilderness will be safe and enjoyable.
And by reducing conflicts with bears, you're also helping to protect them.
You'll also be protecting yourself and
other wilderness visitors."
Second video transcript:
"The first and most important thing to remember about bears in the wild is that like any other wild animal they can be unpredictable. You've entered their home...
So when hiking, biking, or riding a horse it's important to let them know that you're there.
Make plenty of noise especially when you're near steams, hiking through dense bush or when approaching a blind corner. But bear bells aren't loud enough.
We recommend loud conversation, singing a song, or the good old-fashioned "Yo Bear!" at regular intervals.
When vehicle camping, make certain to keep your food locked in your vehicle -- even when you're only away from your site for a few minutes, or when you go
inside your tent or trailer. Remember bears can smell food that's in a cooler, so lock your cooler in your vehicle.
Dispose of your garbage and food scraps in sealed bags in a bear-proof bin.
And get rid off your dish or wash water by dumping it in a campground toilet.
In the backcountry, cooking and eat at least 100 metres from your tent. And never put any food, toilet article, candy, or anything else that has
a scent into your tent. Even toothpaste smells like food to a bear.
Store your pack in a backcountry locker, on a pack rack, or suspend it on a rope between two trees.
If you see a bear, the first thing to do is to give him some space.
Remember, this is the bear's home and you're just the visitor.
All you have to do is back away slowly, return the way you came, or take a wide detour around the area.
The bear doesn't want to be around you anymore than you want to be around the bear.
By the time you get back home, you'll have a really great story to embellish."
Following on my previous post about avalanche awareness, there are some avalanche courses you might want to check.
Each year an increasing number of skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and climbers venture in the backcountry. Each year we regrettably count new people dying in avalanches.
Avalanche skills training courses exist and are essential first steps to safe winter backcountry outings. Those courses are provided by qualified Canadian Avalanche Association professionals.
There is even a snowmobile-specific course. The College of the Rockies Invermere Campus is proposing courses including avalanche terrain recognition, avalanche climatology, snow stability evaluation, alpine touring practices, avalanche accidents along with search and rescue techniques. These courses are not only geared towards professionals but also to outdoor enthusiasts looking at safety first.
Two courses - Avalanche Skills Training Level I - are already lined up and available:
So far this program was offered by Fernie Campus only but not Invermere Campus.
We checked their website but no information was given regarding this particular training course at the Invermere Campus.
So you're among the first ones to know, we hope you'll be the first ones to register to help you go through a safe winter.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Friday, December 18, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm and
Saturday, December 19, 2009 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Friday, February 19, 2010 from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm and
Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost is $185 and includes reference book. Students will require their own beacon, probe and shovel. Class size is limited to 16.
To register or for more information, contact the College of the Rockies at 250-342-3210.
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- And the second place in the Friends & Family category goes to...
- And the second place in the Videos category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Landscapes and Sunsets category of our 2012 RECESS IS BACK readers' contest goes to...
- And the second place in the Wildlife & Flowers category goes to...
- And the winners of our 2012/2013 Photos and Videos Contest are...
- 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest
- oTENTiks are coming to a mountain park near you!
- Submissions to our 2012/2013 Photos/Videos Contest are now over...