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PO Box 417
Squamish, BC V8B 0A4
Canada

1 (604) 815 8196

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News

New Wyssen Towers to protect railway from avalanches

brian gould

We just finished installing five new Wyssen Towers in Glacier National Park in collaboration with Wyssen Avalanche Control and Axis Mountain Technical. These Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS) are loaded with 12 charges of up to five kilograms each at the start of each winter, and can be deployed remotely at any time throughout the winter. This particular RACS is relatively new to North America and quickly gaining traction with advantages such as relatively small footprint, large effective blast radius, and a flyable deployment box that allows for charge assembly and loading in a comfortable controlled environment.

Although, the Cutbank avalanche paths, where these new RACS systems are installed, only affect the railroad and do not affect the Trans-Canada Highway, they will greatly reduce highway closure time. This is because, the Parks Canada Avalanche Control Service controlled these paths for CP Rail using Howitzer rounds fired from the highway, requiring road closures during control. Alpine Solutions assisted with the layout and provided on-site project management throughout the construction phase.

Wyssen tower news shot 2.jpg

Parks Canada - Trans-Canada Highway Snow Net Project

Christine Ferguson

Each year, numerous snow avalanches threaten the Trans-Canada Highway in Glacier National Park. A combination of snow sheds, earthworks (e.g. berms), and artillery based avalanche control has effectively protected highway travelers since the highway opened in 1962.

In order to improve highway reliability, Parks Canada commissioned the largest snow net project to date in the western hemisphere, to permanently stabilize the snowpack in three problematic avalanche paths – Cougar Corner #6, 7, and 8. Alpine Solutions Avalanche Services completed the design, which included 1937 m of Geobrugg snow nets in 39 separate rows. Three debris flow barriers were utilized in terrain that was too incised for traditional snow nets. All rows for two avalanche paths were installed in 2016, and the third path is due for completion in 2017.

Owner: Parks Canada Agency. APEGBC members: Brian Gould, P.Eng., Cam Campbell. Eng.L. (Alpine Solutions), and Jenna Zdunich P.Eng. (BAT Construction Ltd.). Prime Consultant: McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.

Cougar Corner avalanche paths above the Trans-Canada Highway

Cougar Corner avalanche paths above the Trans-Canada Highway

Upcoming presentations by our team this fall

brian gould

Cam Campbell and Brian Gould are presenting recently published papers at the following conferences:

GeoVancouver (Vancouver, BC)
“The Canadian Avalanche Association’s New Guidelines for Managing Avalanche Risk” (paper and oral presentation)
October 4, 2016; 13:30-13:45;
More info here

APEGBC Annual Conference, Victoria, BC
“The Canadian Avalanche Association's New Framework for Managing Avalanche Risk” (oral presentation)
October 20, 2016; 15:45-17:00
More info here

ISSW(International Snow Science Workshop), Breckenridge, Colorado
October 3-7, 2016
Abstracts can be found here and here

Papers being presented are included on our Publications page.

Gazex system commissioning - October 2015

brian gould

We were just up in northwest BC with our partners commissioning a new Gazex® remote avalanche control system. Alpine Solutions provided the client with the layout and design, and assisted with procurement and installation. These three new cannons, piping and gas farm shelter are key to the risk management strategy for the mine access road. Three more cannons and a second gas shelter are scheduled to be installed during Summer 2016.

Drone video footage by Axis Mountain Technical

Alpine Solutions Receives OQM Certification from APEGBC

Ian Tomm

Alpine Solutions has recently been issued an Organizational Quality Management (OQM) certificate by the Association of Professional Engineers of BC (APGEBC). This certification reflects a corporate commitment to maintain the highest professional standards in engineering; meeting both client and legislative requirements, and delivering on time and on budget. APEGBC created the Organizational Quality Management Program to assist and recognize organizations that employ professional engineers in supporting the APEGBC professional in meeting their professional obligations under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act and Bylaws.