Sad news out of Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada where a 40-year-old man, from Invermere, BC, died during an early season backcountry ski excursion with friends. The CBC reports the man was skiing with three friends on Monday when a whiteout hit and the group was separated.
Officials say the man’s skis bottomed out and that due to low snow coverage and other related hazards, he was pitched forward into a rocky area, where he suffered severe trauma. The man was not wearing a helmet. There is only 10 to 30 cm of snow at tree line, which the rescue team says increases the chance of hitting something and getting injured. The rescue team added that members witnessed loose dry avalanches in that area on Monday and suspect slab development will be an ongoing issue:
“Consequences of being caught in even a small slide would result in injury due to the lack of snow and the chance of a ride over rocky terrain.”
Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased and we want to remind early season backcountry skiers and snowboarders to be extremely careful when traveling in the highly exposed terrain common in the early season.