Mount Robson avalanche buries Berg Lake trail

Avalanche buries iconic trail

An avalanche on the popular Berg Lake trail at Mount Robson buried the path under heavy chunks of snow on Thursday.

The slide happened about 6 1/2 kilometres from the trailhead at Highway 16, just before the Kinney Lake campground.

Valemount RCMP Cst. Ron Trimm flew to the avalanche site in a helicopter with a park ranger and search and rescue volunteer after receiving the call at 4:55 p.m. Thursday.

“At first we weren’t sure of the size of it - they were advised by an avalanche tech out of Nelson that it was a Category 3,” said Trimm. “However once we got up there and saw the slide we went down to the lake where it ended up a lot of the snow had melted but a lot ended up over the trail and in the lake.

“Once we got back in the helicopter we could see where some trees had been torn down because of the slide but there were no injuries to anybody. No one was in any danger but they could have been if they’d been further up where it happened.

“It widened out once the land flattened out and went across the trail and made some streams where there weren’t any streams, but after checking it out they wouldn’t even classify it as a Category 1 slide.”

Trimm said the high snow pack over the winter and large of amounts of rain recently, combined with 30 C heat, sped up melting on the slope which produced the slide.

The 42-kilometre Berg Lake trail, located 288 kilometres east of Prince George, is a world-renowned hike that takes people to the foot of Mount Robson - the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 metres (12,972 feet).

“It will be very popular this weekend,” said Mount Robson park ranger Sean Allin. “It’s been pretty busy for the most part this season but obviously (due to the pandemic) a little quieter than normal.”

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