Wednesday December 30, 2020 - Mt Washington backcountry
A size 1.5 snowboard triggered avalanche was initiated in the “Bucks Zone” on an East aspect in the Mt Washington area. Avalanche conditions for the day were listed as High at the Alpine and Considerable at the Treeline and Below Treeline elevation bands due to significant new snowfall and high winds. Unfortunately the individual was caught in an avalanche and lost some of his equipment. Uninjured but unable to get back to the ski hill, the individual spent the evening out. The individual was reported missing and eventually helicopter searching was able to locate the individual who sustained cold related exposure injuries.
Suggestions for the future: -Don’t venture into the back country alone as there will be no one to dig you out if you are buried in an avalanche. -When heading into the back country always bring the appropriate gear to spend a night out. -Avoid all avalanche terrain when the avalanche bulletin lists the hazard as “High”. You can still go out adventuring on “High avalanche danger days” days but you must avoid avalanche terrain. Take an avalanche course and learn about the dangers and how to avoid them if you want to safely enjoy the winter backcountry terrain on Vancouver island. -Carry communication devices that work well in the terrain you will be entering.
B.P. Lead Forecaster for VIACS