Editor's Note: TGR understands the inherent risks with skiing and snowboarding and urges anyone going out to have the proper knowledge, equipment, a partner, and a plan. For more information on how to stay safe while enjoying winter sports, check out TGR’s annual Safety Week series.
Left: It was a 2.5 sized avalanche. Right: A close up of the crown. Avalanche Canada Photo
A skier in Canada passed away in hospital care after being rescued from an avalanche event in Banff National Park. Last Friday, January 10th, a 32-year-old woman was backcountry skiing with two other skiers on the south-facing slope of Mount Hector when an 80m (262ft) wide slab was triggered. Mount Hector is just north of Lake Louise.
According to CBC, the slide was speculated to have been remotely triggered by her party. The crown varied from two meters (6.5ft) of wind loaded snow to as little as 40cm (15in) of snow. Once released, the slab traveled 550m (1804ft) down the slope and caught the 32-year-old skier, burying her in dense amounts of debris. It took 45 minutes for her group to dig her out. Once freed from the snow she was airlifted to a hospital, where she remained in critical condition. The next day she succumbed to her injuries and died.
Following the incident, Avalanche Canada found that the slide ran on a weak layer of facets and depth hoar that was located right at the base of the snowpack. In some spots, the avalanche even exposed the ground and trees underneath the snowpack.
Another view of the slide path on Mount Hector. Avalanche Canada Photo.
Parks Canada urges visitors to check terrain conditions and be aware of the avalanche danger before heading out into the backcountry. Like many snowpacks throughout the west, the British Columbian snowpack has complex problems and are likely to persist for an extended period of time. For avalanche information in Canada, be sure to check out Avalanche Canada.
At approximately 10:30AM PST this morning, January 17th, 2020, an avalanche occurred near the Subway run at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, CA. The Placer County Sheriff's Office has announced that one man was killed in the slide, and another was seriously injured. RELATED: Watch a Massive Skier-Triggered Slide on Taylor MountainSearch has been stopped. We believe all victims have been recovered at #AlpineMeadows. pic.twitter.com/gZCBSj8iu2 — Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff)
Last weekend, Hawaii's first (and possibly only) snowfall of the year dropped around two feet of snow atop the Big Island's tallest volcano, Mauna Kea. The snow, which was blown into drifts up to eight feet tall in places, closed public access to the summit, which is normally accessible by road. RELATED: Jackson Hole Smashes January Snowfall Records Luckily, the road has been cleared, and the summit is again open to the public. Those planning on heading up should be aware, however,
Oahu might be the location of a new wake pool park and attraction center like this one. Wikipedia photo. Brian Keaulana, a legend of Hawaiian big wave lore, is looking into developing a 19-acre plot on the western side of Oahu for a new wave pool and surf park. The announcement comes after the Hawaiian Community Development Authority authorized exploration for the project, which would be called the Honokea Surf Village. RELATED: Watch Glacial Surfing in Alaska The development’s wave