Three Saskatchewan men are lucky to be alive after being caught an avalanche near Golden, British Columbia. The size 1.5 avalanche was triggered on Tuesday afternoon around 3 pm MST, on a backcountry run near Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
The trio, all in their 20’s, was skiing out of bounds in an area known as Terminator 2 (T2) around 2 p.m. when they triggered the avalanche. They were carried over 3,200 feet down the mountainous terrain, but luckily all three managed to stay above the snow.
One of the men was able to call 911, and Kicking Horse Mountain Safety quickly located the group. By 3:26pm MST, all three persons were accounted for and airlifted offsite for injuries, completing the rescue operation.
One man fractured his lower leg and the second had back and abdominal pain; the third was uninjured. All three were taken to a local hospital.
“They were not wearing any avalanche equipment and they did not have any avalanche training previously,” said Jordan Peterson, president of the Golden District Search and Rescue. “Ski hills put a lot of time and money into controlling avalanches and as soon as you leave the area boundaries you’re no longer protected by that control.”
If you’re planning to duck under the rope, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Check out this directory of U.S. avalanche courses to prepare yourself for the backcountry. It could save your life.