Council approves China trip for mayor
Council unanimously approved $7,400 in travel expenses for Mayor Richard Ireland to travel to China April 1-15, as part of a delegation seeking to promote Northern Alberta as a tourist destination.
The trip is being organized by Tourism Jasper in conjunction with Edmonton Economic Development.
Ireland will be in China with Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and several other delegates.
Tourism Jasper has been building relationships in China for a number of years and sees this trip as an opportunity to further promote Jasper as a destination.
The $7,400 was not budgeted for, as the invitation for Ireland to join the delegation was just recently extended. The travel costs will come out of the 2012 operating budget. This will be accomplished by reducing the travel budgets for some councillors and by finding surpluses in the administrative budget.
Council will also receive up to $3,000 from Tourism Jasper to assist with Ireland’s travel expenses.
Hinton bouldering wall set to open next month
Construction continues on a bouldering wall in Hinton with the facility set to open for climbers by mid-April.
The structure is being built in one of the racquetball courts in the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre. It will be 12 feet high and encompass three walls. The court will also receive a new entrance and a small viewing area.
“We anticipate minimal interruption for court patrons and user groups during this time,” said Hinton recreation co-ordinator Stacey Gross. “And Hinton, being an active community, has really embraced the opportunity to have a new recreation option within our town.”
During construction, racquetball court users are advised to book courts in advance by calling 780-865-4412.
Special avalanche warnings continue
The Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) issued its fourth “Special Public Avalanche Warning” in five weeks last weekend and while Jasper was not specifically included in the alert, several areas to the west and south were.
The warning area included the North and South Columbias, the Cariboos, the Purcells, the South Rockies, the Lizard Range and the Kootenay Boundary region. The warning was in effect from March 24-26, the first weekend of spring.
“Our main concern is the same weak layer we have been tracking for the past month,” said Ilya Storm, forecast co-ordinator for the CAC’s Public Avalanche Warning Service. “Over the past few days, we have received numerous reports of very large avalanches and near-misses throughout the areas affected by the warning. We’re hearing about people with lots of experience who were surprised by avalanches, sometimes triggered from a significant distance.
“What’s significant is that in many of these cases, the terrain was relatively simple,” he added. “That tells us this weak layer is primed for triggering.”
The avalanche conditions in Jasper specifically have been less risky, by comparison, but still rated at “considerable” in the alpine and “moderate” at and below treeline for much of this week.
For the latest avalanche bulletins, visit www.avalanche.ca.