The system, valued at $ 3 million, is a Swiss invention that includes 13 low-frequency sensitive infrasound detection panels and three radar detectors.

These tools will be used to detect the lightest snow dust clouds at the first sign of an avalanche. The specialists concerned will then receive a text message.

During the night, or during storms, it is difficult to determine what kind of activity is going on, Explain Jeff Goodrich, Senior Avalanche Officer at Parks Canada.

Jeff Goodrich in close up.

Jeff Goodrich is a senior avalanche officer at Parks Canada.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Bob Keating

With this new system, he says, we are going to have alerts indicating which avalanche cone is in progress.

A military operation

Avalanche prevention on Rogers Pass is also in the hands of the Canadian Armed Forces. Since 1962, soldiers have exploded shells on the mountainside to drag snow after storms.

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Rogers Pass and the Trans-Canada Highway are the busiest rail and road corridor to reach the Pacific Coast. But more than 130 avalanche trails stretch 42 kilometers along Rogers Pass, causing road closures that can last several days at a time.

Today, howitzers will combine with the finest technology. According to Parks Canada Spokesman Shelley Bird, the new avalanche detection system could reduce these closures to 60 hours per season.

This is important, not only because it connects Canada from east to west, but because it is an important part of the economy, she says.

The Rogers Pass mission is the longest mission in the history of the Canadian Army.

With information from Bob Keating