Whistler has had a lot of snow this week and with big snow comes big danger with avalanches, tree wells, snow banks and more as two skiers found out today when they were lost, buried in snow, and unable to move.
This terrifying Facebook post below was published by Shane Roy from Pemberton today with an equally urgent message about staying safe while on the mountain. Roy and friends discovered two skiers buried in snow and unable to move, in a creek, under a snow overhang that was threatening to bury them further.
The skiers were extremely lucky to be found. Chairlifts had closed, neither skier could move in the immersion, they were unable to let patrol know where they were as they were lost and according to the Facebook post, neither had avalanche or safety gear on them because, well, they thought they were skiing inbounds.
The post explains how they were rescued and goes on to say why it’s important to ski with rescue gear, even inbounds and especially in conditions such as the mega powder days that Whistler is experiencing now.
Roy has wisely set his Facebook post to public in an effort to educate skiers and snowboarders about the dangers. This is the stuff of nightmares for most of us. We’ve all fallen in powder unable to get up without help at some stage in our skiing lives but this is next level.
Kudos to Shane Roy and Tyler Wyman for saving these guys today. I hope they bought you beer and bought themselves lottery tickets.
A different snow burial twelve months ago
It reminds me of that other time in Whistler during a snow storm last season when a snowboarder fell into an innocent looking snowbank and got buried, and was, again, unable to move.
Stay safe out there, people, look out for each other, choose your lines carefully, go with a guide if you don’t know an area and carry your shovel, probe and avalanche gear.
Good idea to also record ski patrol’s number into your phone when you arrive at a new resort.