Archived Avalanche Bulletins

Archived Avalanche Bulletins
Electron Microscope image of a snowflake

I’ve always wondered why the CAA’s web site doesn’t have a link to the archived avalanche bulletins. I could be wrong, but I just can’t find it.

It’s not a normal thing to want to go back and look at the old bulletins, but let’s say I was going to head into an area that I don’t usually ski in. I would find it useful to read up on what’s been happening there, and the bulletins are an excellent summary of weather information, as well as primary observations on avalanche activity. For a non professional, it’s the only way to get access to this data (professionals can get it through the InfoEx).

This week I’m running an avalanche rescue tabletop exercise for our team. It involves three avalanche response scenarios in our area. The idea is that the SAR managers and team leaders get together and plan how the reponse wouldtake place based in the information I give them in the scenario. In the process they use the Avalanche Rescue Response Plan. At the end of the exercise we review the plan for completeness and modify it according to the sugestions the team gives me.

For the excercise I chose three dates in the past month or so for the imaginary incidents to occur. However, I wanted to provide the bulletin and weather forecasts for those dates to make the scenario as real as possible.

It turns out there is an easy way to access the old bulletins if you need to. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the page for the avalanche bulletin you are interested in. For me it was Sea To Sky
  2. Click on the RSS link near the top right after the title of the bulletin. The icons looks like this:
  3. Depending on what web browser you’re using you’ll see different things. For these instructions, use Google Chrome. You may be able to do this using a feed reader (see below). In my brower (Chrome) I get a choice to subscribe to the RSS feed using Google Reader.
  4. Once in Google Reader I can scroll back through all of the previous bulletins and retrieve any one I like.

You may be able to use a different feed reader than Google Reader. This does not seem to work in Internet Explorer or Firefox because they, like the CAA, assume you’re only interested in the latest bulletin. You need a reader that will let you scroll back through previous bulletins.

If anyone has any other method they know of to get the previous bulletins, let me know in the comments below.

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