Skier & Snowboarder Caught & Partially Buried in Avalanche Off Rogers Pass, B.C. on Sunday

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
Skiers and boarders atop Bruins Ridge in Glacier National Park following an avalanche on Sunday that slid down the slope on the right. Photo: colebullock7 via Avalanche Canada Mountain Information Network
Skiers and boarders atop Bruins Ridge in Glacier National Park following an avalanche on Sunday that slid down the slope on the right. Photo: colebullock7 via Avalanche Canada Mountain Information Network

One skier and one snowboarder were caught in an avalanche off Rogers Pass, B.C., Canada on Sunday.  The avalanche occurred on Bruins Ridge in the Connaught drainage in Glacier National Park at about 2:30pm on Sunday, Nov. 8th, 2015.

The avalanche is reported to have been large at 1,600-feet wide, 20-40 inches deep, and it ran for around 3,000-feet.  The avalanche danger at the time of the avalanche was rated at “CONSIDERABLE,” which is the rating that the most people die under.

Another view of the Bruins Ridge slide on Sunday from just above where it was triggered. Photo: colebullock7 via Avalanche Canada’s Mountain Information Network
Another view of the Bruins Ridge slide on Sunday from just above where it was triggered. Photo: colebullock7 via Avalanche Canada’s Mountain Information Network

The snowboarder was two-thirds of the way down the slope they were skiing when the skier dropped in and triggered an avalanche that carried them both about 600-feet downhill.  The skier had to swim and fight to stay on top of the debris and ended up on the surface when the debris came to a stop.

“The skier entered the slope, made a couple of turns, made a turn to the right past a boulder feature and then turned back down the fall line, and when he turned back down the fall line, the avalanche started and he was taken off his feet.  He slid for approximately 150- to 200-meters… and he was swimming, backstroking his way down in the avalanche debris, which probably assisted with him staying on the surface. He stayed on the surface, was not buried and lost a ski.” – Percy Woods, Glacier National Park visitor safety technician

The snowboarder was buried with his headed pointing downhill, but had one hand above the snow and was able to dig himself out.

Stock avalanche photo.
Stock avalanche photo.

Other skiers were in the area including a group of 5 that had two mountain guides with them.  They hurried to the two who had been caught by the avalanche and made sure they were OK.  The group searched the avalanche debris for signs of any other people who may have been in the avalanche.

The two who were caught by the avalanche were flown out of area by helicopter.

“It was decided after they searched through the debris that there was no other involvements and we cancelled our response.  A short time later… one of the ski guides called us back to tell us the two were having a hard time making it down slope because the one had lost a ski and they were shook up after the incident. We had a helicopter from Alpine Helicopters in Golden fly to the scene and fly the two people out to Rogers Pass.” – – Percy Woods, Glacier National Park visitor safety technician

Map showing the location of the avalanche on Rogers Pass, B.C. on Sunday.
Map showing the location of the avalanche on Rogers Pass, B.C. on Sunday.

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...