Equipment alone is not enough is the message from Avalanche Canada in the wake of five deaths in a McBride avalanche last weekend.
The BC Coroners Service and Avalanche Canada have joined forces to stress the need for preparedness for those heading into the backcountry this winter.
First responders, the Coroners Service and Avalanche Canada all note that of the 17 snowmobilers in the Mount Renshaw Alpine Recreation Site, the majority had proper rescue equipment with them, and that the impressive effort made by those on scene to rescue themselves and others undoubtedly prevented the loss of more lives. But it wasn’t enough.
The message is that even better than knowing how to respond to an avalanche incident is knowing how to prevent one from occurring.
“Basic skills, such as recognizing avalanche terrain and not exposing multiple people to overhead hazard, make a big difference in reducing the consequences of an event,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director of Avalanche Canada.
You can pick up some basic skills at Avalanche Awareness Day at Kimberley Alpine Resort this Saturday, February 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kimberley Search and Rescue will be on hand to share their knowledge.
As for current local conditions, for the Purcells, the risk is Considerable at Alpine and moderate at Treeline and below.
“There have been a few recent close calls in the north of the region near Golden. Very large human-triggered avalanches have been reported over the past few days. Conservative terrain selection remains critical,” according to avalanche.ca