Notice on enjoying winter sports safely in the Haute-Gaspésie
As we enter the winter season, the team at the CLD de La Haute-Gaspésie encourages you to become familiar with several things you can do to stay safe while visiting our region.
First, it is important to remember that while the mountains are a captivating playground for winter sports and outdoor enthusiasts, they also generate harsh winter conditions in which snow, cold and wind can combine to increase the chances of dangerous situations arising. It is a fact that engaging in winter sports in the mountains exposes you to many risks of avalanche and serious injury.
Importance of working with professional guides
Using the services of a professional guide is highly recommended, regardless of whether you will be skiing, snowmobiling or snowboarding. Working with a guide provides many benefits. Because they know the area well, they can help you get the most out of your visit. Their professional knowledge and skills help visitors avoid dangers and stay safe.
It is important to point out that many areas are not regularly patrolled. All trail users are responsible for their own safety. Any costs incurred for search and rescue operations are the sole responsibility of the beneficiary. It is thus recommended that you check beforehand whether your personal insurance or those of the guide service cover these risks.
Many companies offer guide services and safety training. Whether for an introduction to off-piste skiing, boarding or sledding, for an avalanche skills training course, or simply to enjoy a beautiful day in the mountains, work with a professional guide service to ensure your safety while in the mountains. Ask for details!
Snowmobilers, make sure you have enough fuel when crossing through the national park. Gas stations close early and are not always located near the trails.
Respect the land and the boundaries of the Parc national de la Gaspésie and the wildlife reserves
The Parc national de la Gaspésie is first and foremost a natural heritage that is protected and preserved through great efforts while allowing individuals to safely enjoy outdoor activities.
Rules to follow:
- Do not ride or ski in areas where you might damage trees or compromise forest regeneration;
- Show respect for other users;
- If you encounter wild animals, slow down or come to a complete stop so that you do not scare them – you’ll also have a more enjoyable experience;
- For your safety, inform a responsible person of your route and itinerary;
- Do not ride or ski on private land without the owner’s permission.
It is strictly prohibited to:
- use snowmobiles in the Parc national de la Gaspésie, in the Matane or Chic-Chocs wildlife reserves, or in any other protected areas identified on the map;
- chase, follow or harass wildlife.
Be aware that failure to comply with these rules undermines the sport of snowmobiling and exposes you to substantial fines.
Avalanches are considered natural when they are caused by snowfall, drifting, temperature increases, rain, cornice or ice falls, or earthquakes.
About 80% of avalanches involving people are triggered by the victims themselves or a member of their group. That is why everyone who is out and about in the mountains must stay vigilant and follow the recommendations below.
To make sure the mountains remain a safe winter playground, Avalanche Québec recommends that you:
1) Be prepared;
2) Bring the appropriate equipment with you and know how to use it:
3) Get informed before heading out.
Checklist for a safer experience in the great outdoors: www.sepaq.com/securite