15+cm of New Snow Since YesterdayPosted: January 16, 2011
It just keeps coming down here in Lake Louise, and skiers cannot believe their good fortune at enjoying yet more outstanding conditions on the mountain. Around 15cm of snow has fallen since the lifts closed Saturday, and there may be no end in sight.
There is also no end in sight to the foolishness on display by some skiers and riders as again today people were entering closed avalanche areas in search of powder (which was plentiful everywhere else on the mountain). Patrol was first notified this morning of a skier-triggered avalanche in one of the ER7 Gullies, which have yet to open this year. Without confirmation of anyone buried or injured in the slide, control teams had to drop what they were doing and hightail it to that area, expecting to perform a search of the area in case there were burials. Luckily, before they arrived at the site, the reporting person and the skier who triggered the avalanche were located, and confirmed that nobody was buried. Even once it was confirmed they were the involved parties, the two skiers were very evasive when being questioned by patrollers. Patrol called off the search and resumed their control work for the day.
An hour or two later, the avalanche forecaster was travelling to Flight Chutes with two RCMP dog handlers in search of a good place to conduct an avalanche rescue practice. Since there was a slide in that area yesterday, they could use the debris from that to hide objects that would simulate a buried victim. Upon arriving at the area, they discovered two sets of tracks entering the closed area, and just inside the rope, another, newer avalanche. Once again, skiers were ignoring signed closures, entering hazardous areas, and triggering avalanches. Upon confirming that no one was buried in the slide, they all bid a hasty retreat and went elsewhere for the rescue scenario.
Later in the afternoon, two skiers reported that they had triggered an avalanche in the area around the cliffs in Maintenance, which is outside the ski area boundary and receives no avalanche control. Patrollers went to investigate, but found no sign of anyone buried or otherwise in trouble.
Somewhere out there are a few folks who should be thankful to escape both today and yesterday with nothing but a soiled pair of underwear.
For those who enjoy skiing in open terrain, it has been dumping furiously all day at Lake Louise, with no signs of letting up. Monday promises to be one for the books!