“A Day in the Life of…” an Avalanche Management Team Member

In the days leading up to my experience I was extremely excited, but I have to admit I was a little scared too. I was pretty sure it would be physically demanding, and I wasn’t sure I’d be up to the challenge. Hi, my name is Maureen Musclow and I participated in a Day in the Life of an avalanche management team member. The work that this team does makes a big difference in people’s lives. Here in BC’s Rogers Pass, Parks Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces work together as part of the largest mobile avalanche control program in the world. The work that they do helps minimize
the impact of avalanches by protecting roads and railroads lines. From my perspective, it takes a special kind of person to be an avalanche management team member. They do a lot of climbing, digging, measuring and collecting and analyzing data. All this work helps with gathering the information necessary to forecast avalanches before they occur. This is just part of the job. Avalanche staff also need to have the skills and training to take on rescue and recovery efforts. Teams members must be able to handle
the intense emotions that can be experienced when they
have a successful rescue, as well as when they have to deal with
serious injuries or fatalities. This work combines nature and science. It touches on safety and conservation. The people who do this job have to be physically fit
and very technically oriented. They help keep Canadians safe from avalanches and, in my opinion, they also get to carry out their job in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s way too late in my career to take the necessary training to be successful in this field. However, I can picture my daughter doing this job and being the happiest worker ever.

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