Rossland Search and Rescue held its annual Avalanche Awareness Day just outside the Red Mountain base lodge last Saturday, assisted by Castlegar Search and Rescue (SAR) members.
In this hands-on and free event, members of the public learned how to use avalanche rescue gear such as avalanche transceivers, probes, and shovels.
Those who have not taken avalanche skills training were encouraged to do so, as Avalanche Awareness Day is simply an introduction and does not substitute for a full-on training course.
Avalanche Canada provided free educational materials and stickers for the event.
Both beginners and experienced mountaineers practised with the gear, wading through the snow on a very grey day.
SAR teams demonstrated construction of a quinzhee, an emergency winter shelter made of snow.
Castlegar SAR showed off their RECCO unit, a technology that helps search for buried subjects who are not wearing avalanche transceivers but have RECCO reflectors manufactured in their ski clothing.
The day ended with an exciting relay race in which teams competed for time and accuracy, packaging and evacuating a “victim” via a rescue sled.
A huge thanks to all the volunteers who organized and staffed the day, and to the participants for dedicating the time to learn. Thanks also to Avalanche Canada for the free materials and to Red Mountain Resort for use of their facilities, selected ski patrollers, and for publicizing the event.