Avalanche| Mountain Sledder Magazine
A group of five riders was lingering directly in the runout of several large avalanche paths, unaware of the danger above them in the avalanche start zone.
The current complex snowpack in Interior BC is beginning to show its very ugly teeth, with the potential for large, remotely-triggered avalanches.
It was shaping up to be a beautiful day. That’s why it sucked when we made the decision to pull the pin and turn around. But it wasn’t just our gut instinct telling us to do so, there were plenty of avalanche warning signs.
You’ve been planning this trip for weeks. The sleds are loaded, and hotels booked. One problem: High Avalanche Hazard. Here’s what to do.
The problem is that those first ride reports don’t usually show all the hazards and crappy parts that had to be endured to get that one sweet—but gingerly executed—pow turn.
Right from the first initial snowflake that sticks to the ground, we should be paying attention. While early-season snowfalls get our blood pumping for the first rip, we can do ourselves a big favor if we try to understand a little bit of what is happening up in the mountains during the early-season.
Due to an overwhelming number of close calls involving snowmobilers last season, Avalanche Canada presentations at snowmobile shows this fall will focus on the lessons learned from sledders who are fortunate to be alive. The intent of re-telling these stories is not only to examine the mistakes made, but highlight avalanche awareness and introduce available resources to help ensure safe backcountry sledding.
Some key improvements include an increased 70m search strip width, which can improve search times. Also, the interface on both transceivers has been completely redesigned to help simplifying searching technique in a rescue scenario. Combined, these improvements should drastically affect search and rescue times.
The sledder, who was reportedly travelling alone with his transceiver off, was buried 2m beneath the avalanche debris. Two nearby snowmobilers had heard the engine sound of a distant snowmobile stop and happened to notice a cloud of white in the distance.