Left: File photo. Right: The path of the Cornice Bowl avalanche illustrated by SAR. Source:Facebook

Skier uninjured in backcountry avalanche

On Sunday, December 2, Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to a potential avalanche burial in the Cornice Bowl.

Three skiers had been touring behind the Three Sisters in an area known as Cornice Bowl, when a slide caught the first skier as they headed down from the upper ridge. In a post on Facebook, SAR explained that the skiers made an excellent decision in calling SAR, knowing that they would lose cell reception once they dropped in after their friend.

Two avalanche technicians responded by helicopter to find that the skier had been carried over 200 metres by the slide, but was uninjured and had not been buried. The three skiers were then able to make their own way out.

The slide had occurred at 2300 metres elevation, and was classified as 1.5 in size; 15 centimeters deep and 20 metres wide. The slide was approximately 300 metres in length and had run on an icy crust close to the ground. According to Avalanche Canada, a size one avalanche is relatively harmless to people, and a size two could bury, injure or kill a person.

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