Trends & Patterns 1997-2007


According to the historical records of the Canadian Avalanche Centre, at least 766 people have perished in avalanches in Canada. The earliest known avalanche accident in Canada occurred in an Inuit settlement near Nain, Labrador, during the winter of 1782 and resulted in 22 fatalities (Liverman, 2007). While avalanche accidents in the past primarily happened to people living in, working in, or driving through avalanche terrain, the majority of today’s avalanche accidents occur during recreational pursuits. Since 1970, a total of 445 individuals have lost their lives in 295 different avalanche accidents in Canada. During this time period, 92% of all fatal accidents and 90% of all avalanche fatalities involved recreationists. However, non-recreational avalanche accidents do still occur and are often associated with multiple casualties.

The purpose of this website is to summarize the main characteristics of fatal avalanche accidents that took place in Canada between 1 October 1996 and 31 September 2007. After examining overall trends in fatal avalanche accidents, the discussion will primarily focus on the examination of recreational avalanche accidents, which represent the vast majority of the accidents covered by Avalanche Accidents in Canada Volume 5 by Jamieson, Haegeli and Gauthier (2011). We hope the content of this website provides the reader a better sense of what a typical recreational fatal avalanche accident in Canada looked like from the winters 1997 through 2007.

View larger image Photo: J. Hegan


Overview: All Fatal Accidents