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|Sobering Avalanche Pictures and Video #2303|
Back To Discussion List Written: 2009.04.07 by: Frank W. Baumann
An interesting video involving a snowmobiler who initiated a big avalanche in Clemina Creek near Valemount, B.C. is available on UTube at this site. Note that a high quality (HQ) version of the video is available on the UTube site. As far as I am able to determine, the location of this incident was at 52.51582, -118.93174 (NAD 83), which is 42 km south southeast of Valemount.
The avalanche happened on April 4, 2009 during a time when the avalanche danger was CONSIDERABLE- not a good time to be highmarking in the starting zone of such a steep and long avalanche slope. With local names like "Avalanche Valley" and "Danger Basin", you'd think people would be more careful! As the avalanche descends, one can see a number of snowmobilers at the base of the slope, well-within the avalanche run-out zone. Most of them scurried out of the way, but some didn't- perhaps because they had turned off their engines; however, no one was killed.
The second excellent teaching aid to bring to everyone's attention is the series of sobering pictures of fatal avalanches this season produced by Karl Klassen of the CAA; they are available at this site. This is a very good initiative on the part of the CAA- but it would be helpful if they could provide more information- like a date, Google Earth placemark, and more details on what happened. For comparison, check out the Utah Avalanche Centre's accident reports at this site. Click on any of the accident reports to see the details, including linked pictures, snow profiles, and other information. These are usually produced within a day or two of an accident.
#1224 - 2009.04.11 Frank W. Baumann - Another Avalanche Death in Clemina Creek
A snowmobiler was killed on Friday, April 10, 2009 in the same valley as the now-famous high marking avalanche video was taken. The victim was also high marking and apparently had all safety equipment, including a fully-deployed flotation pack and a transceiver. There has been at least one other fatal avalanche accident in this same valley this season.