Avalanche Awareness Day
Seven years ago today I was taking my avalanche level 1 course. While we were out digging pits we had noticed a skin track high above us, ignoring it we continued to study our snow pit. Minutes later Jim Bay yelled down to us “Avalanche”, looking up we all witnessed a class 4 avalanche bearing down on us. Running to the safety of the trees, we were all okay. But those that had set the track above us were not. Soon enough we were all in a real avalanche rescue.
It turned out that the group above were all friends and they had triggered a 1.5 km wide avalanche that had caught all five of them, leaving them all partially buried and very injured all over the mountain. Although Scott got to Shane quickly there was nothing that could be done to save him, while Franks wounds were severe he managed to survive. The others all had injuries but none as severe as Shane and Frank.
Ever since that day we have been coming back to the scene and re-living that day, always trying to learn a little more from it. Over the years Frank has healed and now finally seven years later we managed to ski it from the top and directly down to the highway; the way they had dreamed of skiing it back in 1999.
Shane would have been happy to see us all on the summit today.