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Avalanches in B.C., Rockies and Buried Climbers in Quebec

There have been a number of large avalanches reported on popular routes in Canada over the past few days. Avalanches are caused by a number of things and every winter climber should familiarize themselves with snow conditions. Visit Avalanche Canada here for more information.

On the Icefield’s Parkway in Alberta this past weekend, Alex Ratson and his partner witnessed two avalanches on Polar Circus WI5 700m. The avalanches hit a climbing team on the final pitches and luckily the climbers survived. In Field, B.C. a number of large slides were witnessed, one on Super Boc WI5 and one on Silk Tassel WI4. Closer to Banff, climbers reported large sluffs and wind-loaded bowls on Mount Rundle and on Mount Bourgeau.

On Jan. 25, Philippe Dagneault and his partner were heading to a mixed route on Gros Bras called Gaston et Mademoiselle Jeanne 5.7 WI4 180m in northeastern Quebec when an avalanche was triggered. Dagneault and his partner were approach the climb when an avalanche came down from above burying both climbers.

Dagneault landing on his back and managed to climb out from under nearly a metre of snow. He then dug his partner out, saving his life. You can read the full story in French and see the location of the slide on EscaladeQuebec.com here.

Silk Tassel avalanche Jan. 28. Photo Tim Banfield
Silk Tassel avalanche Jan. 28. Photo Tim Banfield