Close Call for Two Backcountry Skiers Near Terrace

John Crawford
01/15/2019

Avalanche Canada reports that two backcountry skiers escaped with only minor injuries, after being caught in a couple of avalanches in the backcountry near Shames Mountain last Thursday.

Witnesses say the two had been "leap-frogging" down at the big rock, just above the waterfall in the Fayzurs area, when one of them triggered an avalance, which fully buried him near a tree.  

His skiing partner then triggered a second slide as he cut across the slope to offer assistance. 

That second person deployed an airbag, which helped him stay above the snow.

The two were then able to dig themselves out, with the help of three other skiers who were nearby at the time. 

The first skier lost one of his skis in the incident.  

The avalanche hazard is rated as "Moderate" to "Considerable" for most backcountry areas of the Northwest Coastal and Inland Zones.

Avalanche Canada says snow is likely to release on steep slopes that catch the sun.

For updated information, visit:  https://www.avalanche.ca/map/forecasts/northwest-coastal 

== INCIDENT REPORT FROM AVALANCHE CANADA WEBSITE ==

An avalanche incident was reported in the Shames backcountry area last Thursday. The incident involved two skier triggered avalanches occurring in succession with two people involved and partially buried. 

Details here are reported from the accounts by those involved. 
Occurred around 1500h, two backcountry persons were leap-frogging down at the big rock just above Waterfall in the Fayzurs area, at treeline. 
Person 1 skied to skiers left of the rock and triggered an avalanche, getting caught in the flow and landing against a tree fully buried. Person 1 was able to reach a hand at the top of snow and dig down to face. 
Person 2 started down to skiers right of the rock and did not realize Person 1 was caught in an avalanche. A group of 3 skiers at the top of Waterfall motioned to Person 2, alerting him of the situation. Person 2 then cut across the slope to help Person 1, and triggered a second slide. Person 2 deployed his airbag and was able to stay above the snow and was not substantially buried. 
1st avalanche approx sz 2 (~75cm depth crown), 2nd avalanche approx 1.5-2, ran further down into the gulley. 
Both were able to self-evacuate with minor injuries and assistance of 3 other skiers, as Person 1 lost a ski in the avalanche.

 

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