Alpine Solutions has been incorporating the Swiss developed 'RAMMS' avalanche model into its suite of advanced analysis tools. RAMMS (Rapid Mass Movement Simulation) is a numerical simulation tool that yields runout distance, flow heights, flow velocities, and impact pressure of dense flow snow avalanches over three-dimensional terrain. Its strength lies in the ability to help predict runout extent and impact pressures, as well as analyze the effects of various mitigation options (e.g. berms, catchment, walls). Recently we have applied it to avalanche problems that involve complex terrain, and deforested areas. We look forward to further calibrating and using this advanced system in our work with current and future clients.
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.
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.
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
Papers being presented are included on our Publications page.
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.