Avalanche season is in full swing throughout the province and Alberta Parks wants to make sure residents are safe out in the back country.

According to Alberta Parks the winter avalanche season can start as early as late October and even extend through to early May.

Jeremy Mackenzie, public safety specialist with Alberta Parks, says they forecast the hazard at three elevation bands.

"That's the high parts of the mountains known as the alpine, then right where the trees start to peter out is called the tree line, that's a band of elevation we're concerned with, then below tree line which would take you down to the valley floor. The rating right now in the alpine is a considerable hazard, at tree line it's moderate, then below tree line it's low."

According to Mackenzie natural avalanche activity has been reported over the last few days in the Kananaskis region in the steeper, upper elevations along the alpine and tree line zones.

He says the best safety tips include having the appropriate equipment and the knowledge.

"A transceiver, a shovel, and a probe, but equally as important is you need to know how to use those as well as how to identify and avoid avalanche terrain," explains Mackenzie. "So one of the best things you can do if you're a winter hiker, a snowshoer, a back country skier, a snow mobiler, any of those activities in the back country, you should take an avalanche skills training course or what's known as an AST course."

Avalanche control is performed where areas will be closed off and explosives are used to trigger avalanches.

To learn more avalanches and AST courses click here.

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