Avalanche risk high in mountains

After four avalanche fatalities nationally in six days, the Canadian Avalanche Centre urges backcountry users to exercise caution in avalanche terrain.

Two fatal snowmobile accidents occurred in cutblocks — areas below treeline cleared by logging companies.

While riding below treelines is often a safer choice, riders need to be wary of avalanche terrain, even near valley bottoms, due to warm temperatures and wet snow at low elevations, the CAC says.

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre's danger ratings were high (natural and human triggered avalanches likely) for alpine and treeline on the weekend. Below treeline was considerable (natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches probable).

Until conditions improve, the CAC recommends travelling on small, simple, low-angle terrain with no terrain traps. Exposure to large slopes and overhead cornices should be avoided.

Critical equipment for avalanche terrain includes transceivers, probes and shovels. Airbags are also recommended.

The critical window for finding and extricating a victim is just 10 minutes, when there is an 80-per-cent chance of survival. At 35 minutes, the chance of survival is less than 10 per cent.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Green MLA Weaver to seek leadership
Proposed Marina Resort officially rescinded
Comox dental hygienist offering a ‘Gift From The Heart’
Senior saved from Sunday house fire
Relative of victim wants Robert Pickton charged
Comox author credits Mark Twain for his career
Float homes anchor new development
Man dies in fiery dump truck crash on Highway 99
Market Square fire displaces college

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 27 edition online now. Browse the archives.