A man has been airlifted to the hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20. (Photo contributed)

UPDATE: Avalanche consultants deployed to SilverStar

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.

SilverStar Mountain Resort has retained independent avalanche consultants to assist in the investigation of the isothermal avalanche that took place on a double black diamond run in Putnam Creek, (also known as the Backside) on Wednesday afternoon, March 20.

Putnam Creek is presently closed. SilverStar has also closed some south/southwest facing terrain east of the gondola including the Alpine Meadows Chair.

The avalanche consultants, along with the SilverStar Patrol team, will be conducting a thorough investigation of Wednesday’s incident, as well as assessing Resort-wide snow conditions. The re-opening of any terrain will be subject to the results of this investigation.

“As always, the safety of our guests and staff remains our highest concern,” said Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager.

“Due to privacy concerns and respecting the family of the guest injured in the avalanche, SilverStar will not be releasing any further information regarding the guest.”

The Comet Express, Des Schumann Summit Express Gondola, Silver Queen, Silverwoods Express, The Zone Carpet, Adventure Center carpet, Tube Town Carpet remain open – a total of seven of 10 lifts open with access to 46 runs of skiing and riding.

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.

Shortly after one avalanche on the backside of SilverStar sent one man to the hospital, a second small slide occurred on the under the gondola.

Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager, said the second slide occurred on a black diamond run below the gondola on the frontside of the mountain. No one was impacted by the second incident, and the frontside reopened Thursday morning.

BC Air Ambulance airlifted a man to Kelowna General Hospital after the initial isothermal avalanche on a double black diamond run on SilverStar’s Putnam Creek just after 12 p.m. Wednesday.

“We don’t know how severe the injuries are,” said Deacon. “All we know is that he was injured and taken by BC Air Ambulance.”

An isothermal avalanche means that all layers of the snowpack are at the same temperature, typically the freezing point, according to avalanche.org.

“We’ve never had this kind of avalanche happen at SilverStar before,” Deacon said. “As of right now, it is still under investigation.”

SilverStar’s backside, Putnam Creek has been closed to deal with the incident and will be closed until further notice. Deacon said no other runs are believed to be at risk of an avalanche.

The two small avalanches occurred the week leading up to SilverStar’s inaugural Seismic Mountain Festival March 22-31.

“Everything is still a go for the festival and we’re super excited,” Deacon said.

Read more: SilverStar’s new festival a ‘culinary paradise’

Temperatures are expected to cool over the weekend and reduce the risk of further avalanches, Deacon said. According to Environment Canada, Saturday will see a high of 10 C during the day and 4 C at night, followed by similar conditions until Wednesday.

Original: 3:08 p.m. Wednesday, March 20

An avalanche at SilverStar caused by the warm weather has sent one person to the hospital.

Due to warming in temperatures, an isothermal avalanche occurred at SilverStar Mountain Resort Wednesday afternoon, just after 12 p.m. on a double black diamond run located on SilverStar’s Putnam Creek. One man was involved in the incident and was transported to the hospital by BC Air Ambulance.

“We don’t know how severe the injuries are,” said Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager. “All we know is that he was injured and taken by BC Air Ambulance.”

An isothermal avalanche means that all layers of the snowpack are at the same temperature, typically the freezing point, according to avalanche.org.

“We’ve never had this kind of avalanche happen at SilverStar before,” Deacon said. “As of right now, it is still under investigation.”

SilverStar’s backside, Putnam Creek has been closed to deal with the incident and will be closed until further notice. Deacon said no other runs are believed to be at risk of an avalanche.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Read more: Avalanche warning issued for all B.C. mountains

Read more: Highway 1 now open after avalanche



parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Travel back to the Middle Ages at Errington Medieval Faire

Heartwood Home Learners will transform hall on May 4

Stuck in the muck in a stolen truck

Oceanside RCMP nab suspect after call from Errington logging contractor

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

SD69 students set new mark at Skills BC event

Three elementary schools reach medal podium

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read