Terrain hazards

Sirmilik National Park


Bare, freshly broken rock is a sign of active rockfall; these areas may extend well out from the rock walls and cliffs. In or around steep terrain, choose routes carefully, watch and listen for falling rock and avoid stopping for long breaks in potentially active or unprotected areas. Be particularly careful when it is raining and during periods of freeze-melt temperatures as these conditions loosen rock and increase rockfall. Choose campsites in protected areas, away from steep terrain.

Glacier travel

Low temperatures combined with low annual snowfall means that glacial movement is very slow. Crevasses and icefalls are reduced compared to glaciers in more southerly regions of North America. However, glaciers must still be treated with respect as they can be dangerous. Only those experienced in glacier travel and crevasse rescue and with proper equipment should consider travel on glaciers.

All guides operating in glaciated and/or technical mountain terrain require full certification with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides or the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association as an alpine, mountain, or ski guide. Contact the park office for more information.


If there is snow and you will be travelling across or near slopes of more than 25o angle, you need to consider the possibility of avalanches. You should be trained and experienced in assessing avalanche hazards, route-finding skills and self-rescue techniques if you plan to travel in avalanche areas. All members should carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe.

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