This season has been one for the books in terms of avalanche fatalities. There was a 34 year-old Sicamous man who was riding his sled solo and was trapped in an avalanche on March 10th. Read that article here.
More recently, this week, there was another fatality recorded in British Columbia. He was part of a group of snowmobilers that was sledding on Crowfoot Mountain (approximately 25 km North of Salmon Arm). Shuswap Search and Rescue were notified the morning of March 13th of a man that had been trapped in a slide on Crowfoot Mountain. Three avalanche technicians were deployed to the site of the slide and found the body.
Shuswap Search and Rescue spokesman John Schut says that people need to be more wary regarding dangerous avalanche conditions.
This season alone:
- This was the 14th person to die in an avalanche in B.C. this winter
- 13 of them were snowmobilers
- 24 people have died in an avalanche in the USA this winter
- 8 of them were snowmobilers
The statistics do not look very good for this season, particularly for snowmobilers. With that being said, check your local avalanche bulletin before going into the backcountry. Have the proper safety training, gear, and knowledge. Make the right decisions and make sure to have a partner who you can trust with your life. These are just some of the basics that you can do to help avoid avalanche fatalities. The backcountry is never certain and can turn from friendly to fatal in the blink of an eye.
Be careful out there.
Our thoughts at Snowbrains go our to all the families and friends who have been affected by this season’s fatalities.