Jan. 2 morning slide
On monday Jan. 2 Whistler Search and Rescue was scrambling to respond to no less than three separate avalanches, all with human passengers, near the Pemberton area. The snowpack in the Sea to Sky corridor is incredibly unstable right now and the evidence of this can be seen in the number of injuries sustained by backcountry skiers and boarders in slides this week. Brad Sills, a 35-year veteran of Whistler Search and Rescue, admits that he has never before heard of three separate slides in the same area with victims. For this obvious reason, and simply because the heightened avalanche danger, skiers and boarders are all urged to steer clear of the backcountry for the time being.
slide #2 on Monday
Two avalanche deaths in as many days stunned the whistler area just before the new year, but the new snow seemed irresistible to many backcountry enthusiasts this week. Monday had rescue teams swamped as they barely kept up with the day’s four victims from three slide. In a matter of just hours Whistler Search and Rescue, as well as TLH Heliskiing, delivered four injured slide victims to the Whistler Health Care Centre; an exhausting day that left experts cautioning others not to enter the backcountry. Accounts indicate that none of the rescued parties were being particularly unsafe, however, the avalanche conditions are just that bad, and it doesn’t make sense to take a chance.
Be safe everyone! Play around on the mountain or maybe catch up on some of those holiday thank you cards.