Skier Killed in Backcountry Fall Caused by Low Early Season Snow Coverage in Alberta

SnowBrains | BackcountryBackcountry
robertson glacier, backcountry, British Columbia, Canada
Robertson Glacier, BC. Credit: Facebook

A man was killed while skiing in the backcountry near the Robertson Glacier in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, Canada on Monday 19, October 2020.

The 40-year-old man was skiing with three friends when a whiteout hit and the group became separated. Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 pm.

It appears the man’s skis bottomed out on the low early season snow coverage, which threw him onto a rocky area, resulting in severe trauma. The man was not wearing a helmet.

10-30 cm of snow currently exists at treeline and this does not cover the rocks or any of the ground debris, if you do fall in these areas you will likely get hurt, wrote the Kananaskis Country Public Safety Section, Alberta Parks on Facebook. The chance of hitting something and getting injured is quite high. The days are getting shorter so be aware of darkness setting in. Once it is dark, any evacuation is more complicated.

While in the field yesterday forecasters witnessed many loose dry avalanches off steep terrain not running very far but still active. Alpine terrain was getting affected by winds so we suspect slab development to be ongoing in these areas. Consequences of being caught in even a small slid would result in injury due to the lack of snow and the chance of a ride over rocky terrain.

RCMP have notified the victim’s family and are providing additional support for the remaining three skiers.

robertson glacier, canada, British Columbia, bc
Robertson Glacier, BC

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