Avalanche survivors share their story in the hopes of saving lives 

Risk of avalanche stays high in Sea to Sky country

click to flip through (5) PHOTO BY LEE LAU - Richard and Phil look towards Fissile from Oboe.
 

Page 4 of 8

Post dropped into Saddle Chute first, cutting across the sluff path onto the edging spines. Snow was flying in his face as he experienced the ecstasy of skiing deep powder down a steep mountainside. But it was on about the sixth or seventh turn that Post had an unfortunate recurrence of that terrible fall that happened just metres away four years earlier.

"I kind of got a little too greedy," says Post, who works for a professional accounting and auditing firm in Vancouver.

"I tried to beat my sluff and I got taken out and my ski popped off."

With another tumble on the very terrain he had been reluctant to return to, and again losing a ski, Post had a sinking feeling he would again have to brave Singing Pass on one ski. As he came to rest from the tumble he reminded himself that he had done it once four years ago injured, so there was no reason he couldn't do it again.

After making his way down to a safe zone — without finding the second ski — Post watched his two friends descend Saddle Chute, listening to their hoots and hollers as they celebrated the glorious run they had just experienced. With Post not able to continue with them down the following slope, the group decided to separate. Post would make his way down the easier route towards Overlord Glacier and traverse back, Lau and Drechsler would continue down the main bowl and negotiate one of the chutes that dropped closer towards Russet Lake.

REVELATION

As Post slowly made his way down he suddenly felt a rush of excitement as he saw his second ski protruding out of the snow. It had travelled down the slope over 400 metres from where he had lost it. Post was again mobile on two skis, uninjured and already thinking about where he would ski on his second lap. With an elated smile on his face he traversed back towards the Russet Lake drainage to regroup with his friends. But as he crested the moraine and looked up at the slope he knew Lau and Drechsler were about to descend, he heard a thunderous roar and saw a nine-metre high powder cloud rushing down the mountainside.

"In my mind I thought my buddies were going to be dead," says Post recalling the horrific moment.

"Remembering my avalanche training, I immediately switched my beacon to search mode and put on my skins."

With adrenaline rushing through his veins, Post quickly traversed the slope on his skis making sure to maintain his elevation and climb where he could. After reaching the run-out zone, his plan was to zigzag his way down the debris field using a single protruding ski (belonging to one his friends) as a starting point.

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