Two people rescued following avalanche at Castle Mountain Resort
Published Friday, February 15, 2019 2:01PM MST Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2019 6:27PM MST
Two people were lucky to escape uninjured from an avalanche that happened at Castle Mountain Resort on Friday afternoon.
An avalanche was reported in-bounds near the Tamarack lift just after noon.
One person was completely buried in slide and another was partially covered by the snow and debris.
Ski patrols at the resort were able to rescue both people and they were assessed for injuries at the top of the hill.
EMS crews assessed the pair again at the bottom of the hill and determined that they did not need to be transferred to hospital.
A few other people in the group were guided out of the area by the ski patrol.
Mike Conlan with Avalanche Canada says they weren't initially aware of any avalanche concerns at CMR but have now reached out to staff.
He knows there are a number of weak layers in the snow pack that are a concern but it's difficult to forecast the avalanche risk.
"The trickiness comes from the weather forecast. Just the weather pattern that we're under right now makes it quite uncertain into how much snow we will get and how strong the winds may be.Because of that, that's giving us uncertainty as to what the hazard level actually is."
He does add that more snow in the forecast on Friday night and into Saturday will lead to higher avalanche hazards.
"Tomorrow we are forecasted for high avalanche danger in the alpine and treeline elevations."
The Tamarack Chairlift was closed for a period of two hours so crews could use explosives to mitigate the avalanche risk in the area.
The remainder of the ski area remained operational despite that temporary closure.
A spokesperson for the resort says the slide did not damage any buildings or infrastructure.