A skier was fully caught in the avalanche and was buried in 1.5m of snow north of Mount Apps in the southern end of the Comox Valley Sunday. Photo by Comox Valley Search and Rescue

A skier was fully caught in the avalanche and was buried in 1.5m of snow north of Mount Apps in the southern end of the Comox Valley Sunday. Photo by Comox Valley Search and Rescue

Skier suffers multiple injuries after being caught in Vancouver Island avalanche

The woman was fully caught in the avalanche and was buried in 1.5m of snow

A woman was taken to hospital in Vancouver Sunday afternoon after she was rescued from an avalanche north of Mount Apps in the southern end of the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.

Paul Berry, president of Comox Valley Search and Rescue (CVSR) said the organization received a call around 2 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 31) to assist a guided ski group touring the mountain. One of the group members was caught in a Size 2 avalanche – enough destructive potential to bury, injure or kill an individual.

The woman was fully caught in the avalanche and was buried in 1.5m of snow. Fortunately, explained Berry, the team was highly skilled and well-prepared with equipment and was able to perform a self-rescue. The group had shovels and beacons and were able to dig out the skier and tell rescuers where they were located and the nature of the injuries.

With the assistance of the Comox Valley RCMP Air 8 helicopter based out of Comox, members of the CVSR flew to the site and were inserted about 200m away from the ski group.

“Our team members skied down to meet them and packaged the woman into our vacuum splint and was then moved to the Courtenay Airpark where a helicopter with BC Ambulance was waiting.”

The rest of the ski group was able to ski back out, he added.

The woman suffered from multiple fractures in her legs and a dislocated shoulder.

According to the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre (VIAC), the alpine, treeline and below treeline rating for avalanches on Vancouver Island are all rated at ‘high’.

RELATED: Avalanche warning issued for B.C.’s South Coast this weekend

They report multiple ski and snowmobiles triggered avalanches on the Island. The elevated avalanche danger ratings for the next three days are a result of strong precipitation and winds forecasted for the regions. New precipitation incoming may vary depending on the area.

The centre added for backcountry users, to keep an eye on snowfall rates, wind transport and rising temperatures, as this promotes slab formation and “touchy/easily triggered” conditions.

Berry said CVSR works hard with their training in order to prepare for both first aid and avalanche skills training, and have Level 2 avalanche technicians on their team.

He echoed VIAC’s report that there have been a number of reported avalanche events, and with the ratings set at high, so is the potential for human-triggered avalanches. He encouraged anyone who plans to head outdoors and into the backcountry to ensure they are well prepared with the correct equipment and communication beacons.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Forty-eight vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Most Read