Canadian Avalanche Centre
The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) is a non-government, not-for-profit corporation established in 2004 to serve as Canada's national public avalanche safety organization. In the absence of any other federal or provincial agency with a mandate for this national public service role, a broad coalition of federal, provincial, private, and not-for-profit sector stakeholders established the purposes of the CAC as the following:
To serve as Canada's national public avalanche safety organization by:
- Coordinating public avalanche safety programming
- Providing public avalanche safety warnings
- Delivering public avalanche awareness and education
- Providing avalanche training for non-professional winter recreation
- Serving as point of contact for public, private and government avalanche information
- Encouraging avalanche research
Support funding for CAC programming comes from the federal Department of Environment, the BC Provincial Emergency Program, Alberta Community Development, the Canadian Avalanche Foundation, and CAC funds from sponsorships and public donations.
HeliCat Canada and its members support CAC public service programs by collaborating on a wide variety of avalanche awareness and education initiatives. The CAC's annual Avalanche Awareness Days, aimed at building public avalanche awareness, relies regularly on HeliCat Canada members for participation and expertise. Members also work together in the development of youth awareness and education programs, as well as avalanche research. Our most vital collaboration is the daily exchange of avalanche information and observations known as the InfoEx.
The CAC's ability to produce avalanche bulletins and special warnings for Western Canada depends largely on the information and observations provided through InfoEx. Currently more than 80 avalanche operations are CAA InfoEx Subscribers, whose combined information each season creates a source of data valued at over $2 million annually. Each Subscriber contributes daily reports from remote mountainous locations across Western Canada, providing the highly qualified CAC forecasting team with the snow, weather, and avalanche observations needed to make accurate avalanche forecasts. This vital information serves as the basis for the production and verification of the CAC public bulletins and special warnings, which last year alone reached more than 700,000 individual users.
View the INFOEX PAB schematic: