Avalanche day in Rossland teaches the fundamentals

The annual Avalanche Day was on Sunday and gave anyone interested a chance to learn more about surviving in the backcountry.

Participants form a probe line. Though this demonstration was only to find a buried piece of wood

The annual Avalanche Day was on Sunday and gave anyone interested a chance to learn more about surviving in the backcountry.

The event went all day and members from Rossland and District Search and Rescue, South Columbia District Search and the Castlegar and District Search and Rescue  demonstrated the many techniques and know-how for a safer experience in avalanche terrain.

Dave Braithwaite has been a member of Search and Rescue for 30 years.

He said there are about 40 people on the Rossland SAR.

“Participation is well over 35 or 40,” he said, adding that was just the people who did a full day of the workshop. “Some came and went and took something, but didn’t do the whole thing.”

The members demonstrated how to use an avalanche beacon and probe, how to check snow conditions and how to build a snow shelter in case you can’t make it back before the night comes.

“There’s a lot more we could do, but there’s only so much time in a day,” he said.

“We spent a lot of time on transceivers today, and people seem to be liking that.”

Elaine Powers, communication manager for the Rossland and District Search and Rescue said the day was a success.

“We had prizes, some of which we bought and some of which local merchants donated, which was terrific, without their support it would be really hard to have so much fun and run these kinds of events,” she said, adding that the most fun that people had was during the relay, in which all the skills of the day were put to use.

Competitors made a team of four and began the race by forming a probe line and finding a board buried beneath the snow.

They then had a shovel race where one person sat on the shovel, while the other pulled. Then they had to do a shovel test to test snow conditions before racing to be the first to have a team member into the snow shelter.

Powers said this type of activity allows people to get familiar with using the tools quickly and effectively without the stress of a real situation.

To get more info on joining the Rossland and District Search and Rescue, they have a meeting the last Wednesday of every month.

 

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