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Unexploded Ordnance Found By Hikers In Jasper National Park, Canada

Credit: Marc Piché
Jasper RCMP has reported that this past Thursday, July 4, that a group of hikers found a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the north side of Mt. Athabasca in Jasper National Park.

The UXO was reported to Jasper RCMP just after two o'clock on the afternoon of July 4 by a group of hikers from the Association of Communities of Mountain Guides (ACMG). Those hikers took photos and pinpointed the location of the UXO when the reported it and then left it be, which is the correct course of action.

Shortly after the report of the ordnance, a public safety notice was sent out by Jasper Park Visitor Saftey to warm other climbers to avoid the area.


The UXO Location - Credit: Marc Piché
The following day, July 5, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Garrison Wainwright went to the site lead by members of the Jasper Park Visitor Safety, who are more familiar with the area and assisted with the disposal team reaching the site. 

Though the actual use for the device is unknown, an RCMP spokesperson, Cpl. Jon Cormier did give a theory, which was reported by CBC News. He said that "We can't say for sure what it was used for, but it is believed that it was used back in the day for avalanche control." as well as theorizing that the device could date back to World War II.

In an RCMP press release of this incident, it was also stated that "The ACMG who located, photographed, reported and ultimately did not interfere with the UXO are commended for the action they took. The public is advised to never touch or move an object that resembles anything which may be detonated. Items like this should be reported to the RCMP immediately. This potentially dangerous situation was handled effectively because of the proper action being taken at the outset."

This safety message should be followed for any area that uses explosives for avalanche mitigation. If you come across something that appears to be unexploded ordnance, leave the area and contact local authorities immediately.

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