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

Just Posted

Rapper Vanshu in the “Save Bear Creek” video. (Photo: youtube.com)
VIDEO: Rapper’s song aims to ‘Save Bear Creek’ in Surrey, with ‘Dear Doug’ lyrics

‘For a lot of us this park isn’t a park, it’s like a home,’ Vanshu raps

A sulcata tortoise hitches a ride with Kelsey Langille, animal care coordinator with the Urban Safari Rescue Society. Fully grown, a sulcata tortoise can weigh 300 pounds. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Urban Safari animals survive with dedicated help from friends

‘When COVID hit, it knocked the stuffing out of us’: Sharon Doucette

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in December that Surrey’s new hospital will be located in Cloverdale, next to KPU. (File photo: Malin Jordan)
Health minister expects construction of Surrey’s new hospital in Cloverdale to begin in 2023, open in 2027

Adrian Dix spoke Tuesday in a Zoom meeting hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade concerning the new hospital

(Photo: City of Surrey)
Surrey backs ‘Canada Day Drumming’ world-record attempt; sign up by June 23

‘Everyone is welcome to join this free, exciting initiative and help us set this new record’

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

When they last met, Giants fell 3-0 to the Prince George Cougars. Both will renew their rivalry in Maple Ridge on Sept. 24. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
Vancouver Giants to play preseason games in Maple Ridge, Delta

Exhibition schedule will start in September

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Most Read