A report on Avalanche Canada describes how five backcountry skiers were lucky to survive an avalanche on Mount Pattison in the Whistler backcountry on Thursday, May 19.
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The size-2 avalanche was triggered while the group was ascending the west face of Mount Pattison in the Spearhead Traverse around 7 pm.
“All five group members were caught in the avalanche and were partially buried. Four were able to self-extricate, and one needed to be excavated out (buried up to their neck). Miraculously no injuries and only one ski pole lost.”
– Avalanche CA Report
The avalanche was 24″ deep, 360-feet wide, and ran for 820-feet.
Whistler Search and Rescue responded to an avalanche incident on the morning of May 20. A group of five ski tourers who were heading out to complete the Spearhead Traverse accidentally triggered a size 2 slab avalanche while ascending the west face of Pattison around 19:00 Thursday evening. All five group members were caught in the avalanche and were partially buried. Four were able to self-extricate and one needed to be excavated out (buried up to their neck).
Crown depth estimated at 15-80cm. Miraculously no injuries and only one ski pole lost. Several other Na slabs to size 2 observed during the flight in. Please use caution this weekend as avalanche hazard is expected to remain elevated and far from typical for this time of year.
– Avalanche CA