Avalanche Canada unveils real-time info-sharing tool for backcountry users

Avalanche Canada has unveiled a new tool that brings real-time information sharing to recreational backcountry users.
It said in a statement released Wednesday, January 14, that its new Mountain Information Network (MIN) offers “an easy and effective method for backcountry users to submit weather, snowpack and avalanche observations.”
This data can then be viewed on the main map of Avalanche Canada’s website and mobile app.
“The MIN is fully integrated with our website at avalanche.ca,” Karl Klassen, manager of Avalanche Canada’s Public Avalanche Warning Service, said in the statement. “Submissions to the network are geo-tagged, so others can easily see where the observations were made. The MIN gives all backcountry users access to real-time information and observations, which provides valuable decision-making support for travelling in avalanche terrain.”
Submitting to the MIN is easily done through a smartphone or on a home computer. A menu of items is provided to guide the observations and there is also the capability to send photos and add comments. These submissions then appear as small blue icons on the map in the app and at avalanche.ca, which other users can click to view.
“We are very excited about the potential for the MIN,” Klassen said. “The data flow from some of our forecasting regions is sometimes irregular, especially early and late in the season, and a few regions suffer from a scarcity of data. Receiving more observations from the field will be tremendously valuable to our forecasting process.”
The MIN was developed with financial support from TECTERRA.
“TECTERRA is proud to support public avalanche safety through development of the MIN,” Jonathan Neufeld, director of Commercialization Programs for TECTERRA, said in the statement.  “By enabling users to contribute location-specific reports, we are creating a stream of reliable information that helps recreationists, public forecasters and industry users to stay safe in mountainous terrain.”