New iPhone app gives backcountry users avalanche info

MEC conceives and funds app; supports CAC's awareness efforts

VANCOUVER, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - Mountain Equipment Co-op(TM) (MEC), Canada's leading outdoor retailer, and the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC), Canada's national public avalanche safety organization, have deepened their longstanding partnership by developing a new software application - or app - that enables iPhone users to obtain detailed and regionally specific avalanche information.

Available free of charge, the avalanche app provides users with a similar experience and the same depth and breadth of information as is available through the CAC's website.

The application was conceived and financed by MEC, which contracted a local digital agency, Idea Rebel, to design and develop the app. The CAC provided technical assistance to the project.

"As an outdoor retailer, supporting the CAC and the app's development go hand-in-hand with MEC selling technically advanced avalanche gear," said George Weetman, MEC's web marketing manager. "Promoting avalanche awareness and safety is an example of MEC's ethic of corporate social responsibility."

"MEC has long been one of our most loyal and generous sponsors," said CAC Executive Director Ian Tomm. "This app is yet another example of MEC's creative and innovative approach to helping us do our work in public avalanche safety. We are deeply grateful for their support."

The app provides avalanche bulletins, weather forecasts, incident reports and realtime weather for seven avalanche-prone regions of British Columbia as well as links to similar information for national and provincial mountain parks in BC, Alberta and Quebec.

MEC is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment, providing quality products and services for activities like hiking, cycling, and snowsports. Established in 1971, MEC operates 13 destination stores in central locations across Canada as well as mail and web-order services. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.

The CAC is a non-government, not for profit organization dedicated to public avalanche safety. The CAC was established in 2004 with the support and collaboration of federal, provincial and private sector agencies involved in avalanche safety. More information about the CAC is available at www.avalanche.ca.

SOURCE Mountain Equipment Co-Op

For further information: For further information: Tim Southam, Public Affairs Manager, (604) 707-4480 (direct), (604) 561-4528 (mobile), tsoutham@mec.ca; Canadian Avalanche Centre, (250) 837-2141, info@avalanche.ca

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