6 Skiers Survive Backcountry Avalanche Near Whistler

“Six people were caught in an avalanche in the backcountry near Whistler, B.C., Tuesday morning, RCMP have confirmed.

Police say the Blackcomb ski patrol received an emergency call from the group on the Spearhead Glacier, northeast of Blackcomb, at about 11:20 a.m. PT.

One person who was buried by the slide for four minutes was pulled out unconscious by the others in the group, according to Staff Sgt. Steve Leclair.”

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7 Comments

  1. AKFreeski says:

    Man, the media is consistently frustrating in these matters. Always fighting the work of avalanche educators by making slides sounds like they’re random disasters that “strike” at any time. Just from what was stated here (“one of several triggered by people in the past few days”) leads me to believe there were some serious red lights that were ignored.

    Not saying I don’t do it myself when the pow light is on. I am infinitely glad everyone is alright. Huge props on the 4 minute rescue, that’s truly exceptional. Stay safe out there people, keep it all in perspective.

    Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      If you are curious about red flags, Whistler has a separate snow report for the backcountry than for inbounds, and they had the avalanche rating at high above treeline this week.

      Reply
  2. Aaron T says:

    Details with photos can be found on this blog;

    http://www.wayneflannavalancheblog.com/2013/03/seven-people-who-were-involved-in.html

    Some details are still sketchy about what exactly the person who triggered the slide was doing, but while some of the windloaded slopes were easily triggered there were plenty of safe options for that day.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous says:

    To clear things up: Avy danger was Moderate Tuesday and the slide was a wind slab on top of a sun affected layer on the south aspect behind Hsume and Corona. The six snowboarders/skiers were transitioning and the slide was triggered by a skier from a different party hiking up next to the hsume boot pack to the top of the ridge on the slope above them.

    This slope had seen heavy traffic before the slide -there is no “slackcountry”.

    Always transition in the safest spot possible.

    Never hike above others.

    Should also be a wakeup for all those who ski the blackcomb backcountry without a partner/avy gear. Everyone was well prepared and will ride another day.

    Reply
  4. tbone says:

    OVER 4 minutes! wow that must be some kind of record!

    Reply
  5. armchair quarter backs are my fav says:

    http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/avalanche-underlines-risks/Content?oid=2454441
    that is a far better account then cbc. the only thing incorrect in the pique article is that it was a skiier triggering the slab. There are conflicting reports about whether the skiier who triggered was booting up to Asian Pussy or traversing from it after backing down.

    The slide ran full path out about 30-40 meters and cleaned up the people on its way down on to the frozen snow covered lake. the transition spot was perfectly safe on a Moderate avalanche risk day, and the ascent route was proabably the safest possible route to access that area.

    Reply

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