Officials stress people going to enjoy snow on Vancouver Island have a safety plan

Officials stress people going to enjoy snow on Vancouver Island have a safety plan

If you’re heading out to enjoy the snow on Vancouver Island this holiday long weekend officials say you should think about avalanche danger and have a safety plan.

The advice comes a day after a deadly avalanche near Golden, B.C.

On Thursday an avalanche was triggered outside of a ski boundary area in an area called Terminator 2.5. Two people died, bringing BC’s avalanche death toll this year to nine.

Avalanche Canada says on Vancouver Island the risk of avalanches is moderate at alpine and tree lines.

“There is the possibility of human-triggered avalanches out there but the types of places where you’re going to be able to trigger an avalanche are specific in nature and you’re not likely to see large destructive avalanches,” said Tyson Rettie, an Avalanche Forecaster with Avalanche Canada.

On Mount Washington, lots of people were snowboarding and skiing Friday and one woman was being tended to by the snow patrol team after an injury.

Island Health says they usually see an influx of snow-sport injuries this holiday weekend and people should take steps to improve their safety.

“Not using alcohol, being well rested, being physically fit,” said Neil Arason, who works in injury prevention with Island Health.

“Also safety equipment like wearing a helmet and dressing warm cause you never know you could get stuck in a ski lift as well… also skiing to conditions, skiing to your ability.”

Those we spoke to say they are planning for a safe weekend of fun.

“We try to have all the right gear and as long as we’re having fun and not too tired we’re usually pretty safe,” said Bruce McClintock, a Campbell River father teaching his son to ski.

“I always make sure that I stick with the group so I’m not off by myself also obviously a helmet is everything. I use sunscreen to protect my skin as well,” said Jody Hollis, a skier.

And if heading out of bounds officials stress you should have extra training and equipment so you know what to do if you get into trouble.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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