Backcountry skiers escape avalanche near Whistler 

Friends rescue and resuscitate snowboarder caught and buried in slide

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARK STEFFENS - CORONA SLIDE path of the Class 2 avalanche which swept down Corona Bowl March 19.
  • Photo by Mark Steffens
  • CORONA SLIDE path of the Class 2 avalanche which swept down Corona Bowl March 19.

Several skiers and snowboarders are counting themselves lucky after being caught in the tail end of an avalanche on the Spearman Glacier, just past the Corona Bowl area in the backcountry of Blackcomb Mountain.

The avalanche, which appeared to have been triggered by a snowboarder traversing the top of the pitch, travelled about 250 metres down hitting a group of three preparing to hike up and across the bowl toward the Husume descent that leads back into the Blackcomb Glacier.

Two members of the group, a skier and snowboarder, were partially buried while the third member of their group was completely buried by snow. There was a group of four skiers in the area that helped with the search, while the snowboarder that started the slide also assisted.

Blackcomb patrollers got an emergency call about 11:20 a.m. from the group that was hit, and flew out by helicopter immediately with an on-mountain doctor and Whistler Search and Rescue (WSAR) into the backcountry area.

The missing male was found unconscious by friends after a search of roughly four minutes, but regained consciousness as help arrived. All three of those hit by the slide were flown to the municipal helipad north of Whistler and then transported to the Whistler Health Care Centre as a precautionary measure.

Pick up Pique for more on Thursday and check back for updates.

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