COC Coordinator Manual

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Winter Safety Considerations

Introduction

Winter safety considerations are concerned with limiting exposure to avalanches, and are in addition to any year round safety considerations. They must be included in the posting of any COC events in the mountains that take place in the winter season (in general between 1st November and May 31st)
These considerations are based on the following

COC events may only take place at
NO COC events may take place in ATES Challenging (Class-2) terrain, or ATES Complex (Class 3) terrain, regardless of the current avalache hazard rating

COC Safety Committee

COC is YOUR club. We are always pleased to hear your ideas on how we can improve our safety policies. We are also here to assist if you need advice on any events you wish to post, or if you need any clarification on our safety policies. Please contact the safety committee at any time at safety@calgaryoutdoorclub.com

Terrain Classification

Unrated Terrain

Not all terrain has an official ATES rating (i.e. unrated terrain). These may nevertheless fit the description of terrain which is considered free from avalanche hazard, or which is considered to be equivalent of terrain rated as ATES Simple (Class-1) terrain. The coordinator must identify the source of the information used to determine the rating in the Winter Safety Consideration notes. For example, by noting that "This event takes place in terrain which is considered as equivalent ATES Simple (Class-1) terrain, because the route is listed with a Hazard rating of LOW in Andrew Nugara's book Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies"

Terrain which is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards

Terrain and routes are considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards if they meet any of the following criteria.
Guidelines for events in terrain which is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards

Simple (Class-1) Avalanche Terrain

Terrain and routes are considered to be Simple (Class 1) Avalanche Terrain, if they meet any of the following criteria. Guidelines for events In Simple (Class-1) terrain.









Guidelines for Posting Events

Guidelines for Events at downhill ski resorts

Events at downhill ski resorts are exempt from avalanche planning.
No out of bounds skiing is allowed.
When posting "all level" events, please take care that any participants of lower ability than the majority of the group are not pushed beyond their levels of skiing or boarding safely.

Please include the following due diligence section in the event notes.

<br/><br /><font class="warning">Winter Safety Considerations</font><br />
<br/>Terrain Classification: This event is exempted from avalanche planning because it takes place at a downhill ski resort.<br />
NOTE: No out of bounds skiing is allowed on COC events posted at downhill ski resorts.<br />



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Guidelines for Events on groomed cross-country trails

In general events which take place entirely on groomed cross-country trails are exempt from avalanche planning; however if they pass through Simple (Class-1) terrain, they must follow the guidelines for Events In Simple (Class-1) terrain.

Please include the following due diligence section in the event notes.

<br /><br /><font class="warning">Winter Safety Considerations</font><br />
<br />Terrain Classification: This event is exempted from avalanche planning because it takes place on groomed cross-country ski trails.<br />



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Guidelines for events in terrain which is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards

Only use this category if event meets one of the criteria listed Terrain which is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards Please include the following Winter Safety Consideration in the event notes.

<br /> <br /> <font class="warning">Winter Safety Considerations</font><br />
<br /> This event is exempt from avalanche planning, as it is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazards because Enter reason terrain is considered to be generally free from avalanche hazard <br />



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Guidelines for Events in Simple (Class-1) terrain, or equivalent)

Please include the following Winter Safety Consideration in the event notes, substituting your name, the actual date you entered the winter safety considerations, and the actual forecast avalanche danger level, For example. Alpine: Considerable, Treeline: Considerable, Below Treeline: Moderate.

<br /><br /><font class="warning">Winter Safety Considerations</font><br />
This information entered by Enter Your Name on Enter date information added<br />
Terrain Classification: Simple (Class-1)<br />
Forecast Avalanche Danger Level:<br />
    Alpine : Enter actual forecast level<br />
    Treeline : Enter actual forecast level<br />
    Below Treeline : Enter actual forecast level<br />
Some or all of this event takes place in Simple (Class-1) terrain.
Should the avalanche danger rise to High or Extreme at any elevation on the day of the event, it will be cancelled, or moved to an area free of avalanche hazard.<br />



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List of routes with COC winter safety rating

List of routes considered to be generally free from avalanche hazard

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List of approved ATES Class-1 (or equivalent) routes

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List of routes which are NOT ALLOWED for COC events during winter

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11Listed in A Beginners Guide to Snow Shoeing in the Canadian Rockies, by Andrew Nugara
20Winter Trails in the Lake Louise Area

100Listed as ATES Simple (Class-1) terrain in Kananaskis Avalanche Terrain Ratings
101Listed as ATES Simple (Class-1) terrain in National Parks Terrain Ratings
110Listed with a "1" rating in Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies by Chic Scott
111Listed as LOW Hazard in Shoeshoeing in the Canadian Rockies, by Andrew Nugara
120Listed in Winter Trails in the Lake Louise Area - Snowshoeing - with Warning
130Approved by COC Safety committee as being equivalent to ATES Simple (Class-1) terrain

200Listed as ATES Challenging (Class 2) in Kananaskis Avalanche Terrain Ratings
201Listed as ATES Challenging (Class 2) in National Parks Terrain Ratings
220Warning in Winter Trails in the Lake Louise Area

301Listed as ATES Complex (Class 3) in National Parks Terrain Ratings

501Galatea Creek Trail is subject to spring closures, to allow area to dry out, and prevent damage to trail
502Pigeon Mountain is closed December 1st to June 15th to provide protection to wildlife


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Further Information

Useful Phone Numbers




Useful email addresses


Useful Websites

Winter Trails

Winter Trails in Lake Louise Area

Avalanche Terrain Ratings
Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES)











Glossary

Winter Season
In general the winter season for the purpose of winter safety considerations is considered to run from November 1st to May 31st. However at higher elevations, and in areas exposed to avalanche danger from higher elevations you need to exercise due diligence, and you may wish to post winter safety considerations outside this period.










Bibliography