Studded tires and avalanches

This summer, I noticed on the Trans-Canada Highway through the mountains in B.C. there were many “pull-offs” where trucks could put on tire chains where they were required or take them off. In addition to “chain required on trucks” stretches of highway there were also stretches marked by signs that said, “Avalanche area: do not stop,” which was kind of exciting. We went through avalanche sheds, which protected both the highway and the rail lines by deflecting snow over them. There’s also a government service that tests the snow and sets off avalanches, then cleans them off the highway before they can kill anyone. Many of the parking areas and scenic lookouts are, oddly enough, just across the highway from avalanche or landslide scars.

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