Two avi deaths in two days - be cautious out there!
The current conditions seem to be a bit sketchy these days even though the trend is going down from "High" to "Considerable", however in the last few days there have been two deaths due to avalanches. The first was on Thursday evening in Pemberton and the latest was just yesterday east of Revelstoke.
It is time to be cautious out there as there is now a burried weak layer that is still an issue, here is what the Canadian Avalanche Centre is saying about the snowpack in the Kootenay Boundary region:
The storm slab continues to develop. There is now 50-80 cm above the mid-december weak layer of surface hoar. The wind has been strong at times during the recent storms, and has built stiff wind-slabs in the alpine and at treeline on North, East and in some locations South aspects. Warm temperatures have developed a soft slab in the storm snow in areas that were not affected by the wind. The surface hoar layer continues to provide easy and sudden shears in tests. The mid-pack is generally well settled. Facets at the base of the snowpack have not been reactive recently.Snowpack Summary
Some info on the avalanche death in Pemberton is here:
Here is the latest report from CMH about the latest incident:
We are deeply saddened to advise you that on December 30, 2011 at approximately 13:35 PM Pacific time there was an avalanche in the Selkirk Mountain Range, approximately 32 km South-east of the town of Revelstoke, B.C. on a run called Selkirk. The run is located in the Holyk Creek Drainage. The avalanche occurred with a group of 11 skiers, and one Certified Ski Guide. The group of skiers were the guests of CMH Revelstoke. Four people were caught in the avalanche with one fatality.
At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim. The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are like our family. It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that we feel and the sorrow that is shared by our guests, their families and all of our staff.
Here is what we know: The avalanche on Selkirk was categorized as a size 2.5 on a 5 point scale. The fracture line of the avalanche occurred at an elevation of1850 metres on a slope with a SE aspect. The avalanche path was approximately 75 metres wide and ran for a distance of about 250 meters.
There were 4 people caught by the slide. Three of them were only partially buried and were able to get out quickly while the one victim was fully buried. A total of 8 CMH Mountain Guides, 2 Selkirk Tangiers Guides and the group of guests responded at the scene. A total of five helicopters were dispatched to the rescue.
The guest was located with his transceiver and was removed from the snow. Two physicians were on scene and attended to the victim. The victim was taken by helicopter and ambulance to Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke where he was pronounced deceased.
An investigation of the events is being coordinated by the BC Coroner’s Office and the RCMP. CMH is fully involved in this investigation and our collective findings will be shared with others in the mountain community and any other appropriate parties.
For 48 years and over 9 million guided runs, CMH has always placed our primary focus on the safety of our guests and staff. As always, our commitment is to continue to do so into the future.