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"Hello, I'm Arfi"
Arfi stands for Avalanche Research Forecasting Interface and it was developed by the Applied Snow and Avalanche Research Group at the university of Calgary. It's a collection of avalanche forecasting resources, tools, webcams and more, all collected into one simple, interactive google map. It's designed to help both professionals as well as recreationists. At Sled:link, we strive to bring you a condensed web resource for all your sledding needs and Arfi brings to the table a great tool through which to help plan your travels and sledding destinations.
Wondering what the avalanche conditions are like? Curious as to the highway conditions? Need to know what the snowpack is doing in a given area or how much snow they have compared to average years? Arfi can help answer many of these tedious questions and along with other pertinent information, Sled:link ties all your sledding needs together with a convenient one stop information stop while enjoying your morning coffee.
Specific Arfi features include customized filters so you can choose what you see first every time you log in from your computer. For example, i like to review the map in terrain mode, it gets rid of a lot of "noise" and allows me to see the specific icons i'm interested in such as webcams, weather stations, avalanche forecast areas etc…. I turn off specific filters of areas of low interest or of infrequent visits so as not to clutter my view and sway me from my objectives which is usually means getting a second cup of coffee. My personal view is also customized to my primary riding area which for me is the south Coast of BC but when i'm travelling to a new area such as this past week for Sled-Fest Okanagan, i can zoom into that region for all my trail and snowpack informatiomn.
When i do have the time, I love to play with some of the features such as Swarm which allows you to calculate the effect that solar warming has on the snowpack at a given elevation or aspect. While this feature is only available in a few regions, it's very cool and indeed, a very relevant tool as we discovered on the Mod 2 of the level 2 ITP Avalanche course more recently in Rogers Pass where the sun baked slopes kicked off about two hundred avalanches in a single day, many running full path for the first time this season. While the Swarm model areas are specific, it definelty paints a picture of how solar radiation impacts the top 10 cm snowpack and how that can and should effect your desicion making thorughout the day.
We hope you take the time to meet Arfi and familiatize ypurself with its features but do remember, Arfi is a research-oriented work in progress, and the implementation and models should be used accordingly, that is, with the knowledge that errors do exist.
Ride Hard, Ride Safe.