The special closure of the West Rogers Winter Restricted Area has been lifted.
Last month, Parks Canada spotted ski tracks from that area leading into the permanently closed MacDonald West. Parks Canada closed West Rogers until fresh snow would cover the tracks and people would not be tempted to follow.
Shelley Bird, communications officer with Parks Canada, said one of the risks for skiers disregarding the permanently closure and going into MacDonald West is they could trigger avalanches onto Highway 1.
She continued that the closed areas are essential for avalanche forecasting and studying the snowpack. By studying the snow, Parks Canada can predict when to close Highway 1 for avalanche control.
It’s important that the closed areas are not disturbed by skiers for avalanche forecasting said Bird.
Prior to 1995, skiing in Rogers Pass was restricted. The winter permit system allows access to certain areas that were previously prohibited and when avalanche control is not planned.
In most cases, Bird said people follow the rules.
“We usually have really good compliance.”
The penalty for going into closed areas could be a fine up to $25,000.
Bird said Rogers Pass is complex avalanche terrain. People need to know how to navigate the terrain safely and have the knowledge, skills and equipment for self rescue.
“Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own safety,” Bird said.