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How Banff’s Visitor Safety and Search and Rescue Got Started

We are lucky in Canada to have such well-trained and experienced Visitor Safety Specialists

The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) has published an article by mountain guide Conrad Janzen about the start of Visitor Safety in Banff.

Visitor Safety focuses on prevention of incidents, response to accidents and a lot more. It started in the 1950s after two accident in Banff National Park.

“Mountain park Visitor Safety teams consist of members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) who are trained in Search and Rescue (SAR),” said Janzen.

“They also rely on highly-trained avalanche search dogs and handlers, Parks Canada dispatch personnel, helicopter rescue pilots, medical staff and other Parks Canada staff to assist with incident responses. Teams are prepared to respond 24/7 by land, water or air to a variety of incident types in terrain ranging from prairie grasslands to heavily glaciated peaks.”


The article first appeared in the 2019 State of the Mountains Report by the ACC. Read the full article here.

“Reducing the likelihood and severity of incidents remains the primary goal of the Visitor Safety program. Good communication with visitors, implementation of new technologies and strong relationships with partner organizations help achieve this goal and promote enjoyable visitor experiences within the mountain parks.”