Avalanche, warning issued

An avalanche near Revelstoke reportedly buried a snowmobiler Friday afternoon.

A post on Avalanche Canada says that a helicopter assisted search mission aided in the rescue of a snowmobiler who was buried by an avalanche for about 10 minutes before being saved by his partners.

The avalanche occurred on Turbo Hill on Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke. This was the same site as the

2010 Turbo Mountain Avalanche

RCMP Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said "One person was buried for about 10 minutes, but was located and revived and made it off the mountain on his own power." 

The man was with a group of approximately 18 sledders at the time of the avalanche.

"A 2.5 confirmed avalanche swept this male into it. 
There was also an unrelated male who got lost around the same time," he said. "This caused a bit of confusion, but he was located and brought down the hill."

Avalanche Canada has expanded an avalanche warning for backcountry users for the week of March 24 to 29.

The North Columbia, the South Columbias north of Hwys 6 and 31A, the Cariboos and North Rockies regions are at 'considerable' risk of avalanche.

Parts of the South Coast Inland and South Columbia regions are now included, as is the Sea to Sky region including areas adjacent to but outside the ski area boundary of Whistler-Blackcomb and the South Coast Inland west of Hwy 1. 

A winter of unusual weather has created a complex and unpredictable snowpack, explains Avalanche Canada Public Avalanche Warning Service Manager Karl Klassen.

“Avalanches are being triggered both in the newer, surface snow and in deeper layers that formed earlier in the winter,” said Klassen. “This challenging scenario is resulting in numerous close calls and led to two fatalities this past weekend.” 

These conditions are expected to continue for some time and Avalanche Canada has the following recommendations for backcountry users:

  • Stay on simple, low-angle terrain 
  • Avoid large, steep slopes 
  • Minimize exposure to overhead hazard 
  • Avoid travelling where other users are on slopes above 
  • Re-group in safe zones away from avalanche run-outs until conditions improve 

If you do not have the training or experience to assess avalanche terrain and local conditions, it’s a good idea to recreate where avalanche risk is professionally managed. 

All backcountry users must be equipped with essential avalanche safety equipment. Everyone in the party needs an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel every day. It’s equally important that everyone has avalanche training and has practiced using this equipment. If an avalanche occurs, the rescue is up to you. There is no time to go for help.

For the avalanche forecast, check the front page of our website.

For further thoughts on conditions, refer to the Forecaster Blog at www.avalanche.ca/blogs.


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