Avalanche risk high on Vancouver Island

Comox Valley Search and Rescue members train for avalanche rescue      Photo courtesy Comox Valley SAR
Comox Valley Search and Rescue members train for avalanche rescue Photo courtesy Comox Valley SAR
Lisa Cordasco - CHLY - NanaimoBC | 01-01-2021

People planning on venturing into the back country on Vancouver Island this weekend are being asked to think twice before doing so.  Comox Valley Search and Rescue manager Paul Berry, says the avalanche risk is unusually high across the island.

On Tuesday, two men on snowbikes died in an avalanche near Pemberton, BC and on Vancouver Island, a 19 year old snowboarder was rescued Thursday morning, after spending a chilly night on Mount Washington.  Search and Rescue crews believe the man was caught in a small avalanche after venturing outside of the Mount Washington ski hill boundary.  Berry says the man did not have a cell phone or any avalanche safety gear with him.  He says even well-prepared and avalanche-trained adventurers should not be heading out this weekend.

Barry is advising those who do venture out to check the Avalanche Bulletin site first, and be prepared to wait a long time to be rescued because search and rescue volunteers will not be deployed unless conditions are safe for them.

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