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Size 4 Avalanche Down a Canadian Ice Climb!

Urs Hole is known for being threatened by avalanches, but few this big are captured on camera

Photo by: Parks Canada/Avalanche Canada

Avalanche danger in the Canadian Rockies and in many places in western Canada right now are high, which means don’t go into the backcountry. The rating applies to skiers, ice climbers and everyone planning to head into the mountains.

Parks Canada reported today: “Observed a very large avalanche run in the Urs Hole at 11:00 am this morning (Feb 20). Estimate size 4. The powder cloud made it almost to the road.” That’s a big avalanche down a classic ice climb close to the town of Banff.

Urs Hole is a 300-metre WI2+ with an optional WI5 final pitch located on the east face of Cascade Mountain next to Cascade Falls. It’s popular in fall before snow accumulation because it’s well known that it’s extremely threatened by snow slopes above. The climb follows a deep rock gully that often fills with avalanche debris throughout the winter. The narrow canyon has tall walls and would be a deadly place in the event of an avalanche.

Make conservative decisions over the next few weeks, as there’s a lot of snow coming to western Canada with frigid temperatures.

Lead photo: Parks Canada/Avalanche Canada