Avalanche training on the mountain

Knowing how to avoid avalanches - and how to save people who don't - called crucial

Larry Roy

Larry Roy

Members of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) were busy this weekend spreading the word on how to play safe in the snow.

Avalanche awareness events were held across the country and members of the Mount Washington Ski Patrol conducted some avalanche safety clinics on Saturday, Jan. 14. in the Backcountry Access Beacon Training Park on the hill.

The area provides an opportunity for amateurs and pros to practice using their transceivers. On Saturday a few people put their beacon finding skills to the test.

It was the first time Yoda Perron had ever ventured into the beacon park. The 19-year-old, who works in the rental department at Mount Washington, said he wanted to learn how to use probes and transceivers because occasionally he rides in the back country.  Perron, who grew up in Victoria, has a keen interest in avalanche safety since last year. When on a trip to the mountains in Switzerland, he was swept down a slope in an avalanche.

He said he was lucky he didn’t get buried alive. The snowboarder said he eventually wants to get his first aid and avalanche safety certification and work as a ski patroller on the the mountain.

Jesse Percival, avalanche forecaster and ski patrol director for Mount Washington, said the beacon park is an awesome educational tool that features permanently buried transmitters.

Also on hand for rescue demonstrations at the event was Maddy and even though Vancouver Island’s only Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) dog has retired, she had no problem finding a volunteer buried in the snow. Maddy’s owner Kevin Fogolin said his dog will be turning 14 years old in May and these days she only does searches for fun. He said currently there are no dogs in training for CARDA on the Island and he will not be training another dog because he has other commitments.

Saturday’s event at Mount Washington was a fundraiser for the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, which issues the Vancouver Island Avalanche Bulletin.

In its ongoing effort to prevent tragedies, the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre also offers avalanche courses so outdoor enthusiasts can plan safe snow excursions.


Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The Oceanside Minor Lacrosse Association will honour their many volunteers on June 26. (PQB News file photo)
Oceanside Minor Lacrosse to honour volunteers on June 26

Appreciation event set for Parksville Community Park

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read