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

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Ladysmith’s famous Festival of Lights decorations are still up as of March 1, 2021. (Cole Schisler photo)
PHOTOS: It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in Ladysmith

Festival of Lights volunteers cannot remove the holiday roof top displays due to COVID-19

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)
Home in Cedar destroyed by fire

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong winds Sunday

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read