Archival film about Rogers Pass made available to stream

The National Film Board of Canada’s Collection Curator recently digitized the film The Snow War, directed by Harold Tichenor, in 1979. 

'The Snow War,' a film about a team of avalanche controllers fighting to keep the vital transportation route of Rogers Pass open, was digitized for viewing by the National Film Board of Canada on October 28, 2022. Photo: screenshot from the film 'The Snow War'

Rogers Pass is the battleground for The Snow War in the 1979 film directed by Harold Tichenor. The Collection Curator for the National Film Board of Canada recently digitized the film, which is now available for streaming free of charge in Canada.

The 25-minute film was released on the National Film Board of Canada’s website on October 28, 2022.

The film describes a mobile avalanche-control team’s efforts to keep open the invaluable transportation corridor of Rogers pass, situated in Glacier National Park. The Snow War depicts a range of methods the team employs, like shear tests, snow profiles, and blast tests.

The Snow War, Harold Tichenor, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The climax of the historical films comes during a military-like operation involving the deliberate triggering of avalanches and a search-and-rescue operation for a man buried.

The film’s relevance remains. Highway closures due to avalanche control are standard in Revelstoke and Golden, backing up traffic and diverting travellers into town. A battle still being fought today, The Snow War depicts the early methods used to enable safe transport through the pass, some of which are still used today.

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