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Aerial view of massive slide

Aerial images show the massive after-effects of a pair of landslides near Pemberton last week.

The slides decimated the northeast slope of Joffre Peak.

The first landslide occurred May 13 at 7:40 a.m., affecting the Cerise Creek area and ending on the flats just south of Cayoosh Creek and Highway 99, north of Pemberton.

"Debris appears to have spanned 500-850 metres in width and travelled a total distance of roughly 5.2 kilometres," a BC Parks spokesperson told Pique.

Then, a second slide occurred May 16 on the same side of the mountain, effectively shearing off a wide swath of the prominent face.

Longtime volunteer spotter with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, Wilfried Braun accepted CASARA pilot Daniel Jun's invitation to head up for a bird's eye view on Saturday.

"It's more and more impressive when you see it with your own eyes," said Braun. The damage, he added, "was obviously more devastating than expected."

Following the slides, experts told Pique the hiking trail in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, located on the opposite side of the mountain to the slides, remained unaffected.

Though debris appears to be falling into Upper Joffre Lake in one shot captured by Braun, he estimates that's the result of normal springtime activity—but adds that this year's activity, by his estimates, might have resulted in slightly more debris falling into the lake than usual.

"In the spring, when the snow starts to melt there's little slides here and there," explained Braun. "It seems like it's a constant crumbling coming down (into the lake), it's just the opposite side of the slide, so there's obviously something going on there.

"It's hard to judge it that way, but it looks interesting from that angle, that's for sure," he added.

Megan Lalonde / Pique Newsmagazine



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