The avalanche occurred at approximately 3 a.m. by Mount Stephen, according to Parks Canada official Lindsay McPherson. Heavy equipment and aerial avalanche control units were brought in to reopen the highway at about noon.
Local fire chief Jamieson Harbottle said that the only vehicle involved in the avalanche was a tractor-trailer whose driver tried to force his way through the snow. The vehicle was not seriously damaged.
Avalanche Canada has rated the snow avalanche danger in southeastern British Columbia as "considerable" due to a string of recent snow storms. Drivers are warned to be attentive while traversing the province's many mountains.
"As always it's just winter driving conditions so take your time, be prepared. Have water and snacks in your vehicle and know that in certain parts of the mountain you don't always have cell coverage so it's just really good to be prepared before you set out," said McPherson.