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

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netfilx transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Greg Chow is the 2021 Local Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fighting fire a family affair for Colwood Assistant Chief Greg Chow

With 38 years of service, Greg Chow is the 2021 Hero of the Year

This rendering shows plans for the new “flyover”overpass connecting northbound traffic on Highway 17 heading west on Keating Cross Road. Plans currently seeking public input propose two options for the median along Keating Cross Road. Option 1 will prevent left turns onto Tamany Drive and Buena Vista Road. Option 2 (seen here)will allow for left turns onto Tamany Drive and Bujena Vista Road. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Public asked for comment on proposed overpass for Pat Bay in Central Saanich

New flyover overpass proposed for Highway 17 and Keating Cross Road

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

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)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

19-year-old man in police custody after incident where woman was putting things in her car

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read