The aftermath of an avalanche on Apex Mountain on Saturday. The resort is advising enthusiasts to avoid the backcountry due to the record snowfall increasing avalanche risks. (Avalanche Canada image)

Apex ski resort warns enthusiasts after backcountry avalanches

Multiple avalanches were reported on Saturday after record snowfall hit the slopes.

By Brennan Phillips

Western News Staff

If you plan to go off the beaten path, there are more dangers than just getting lost in the woods.

Several avalanches were triggered yesterday, Feb. 8, on Apex Mountain. There’s no risk for people skiing at the resort though, which general manager James Shalman wants to be clear on.

“We don’t need to close anything down, everything in bounds is perfectly safe,” said Shalman. “We highly recommend that people stay where it’s safe, which is within our ski area boundary.”

The avalanches that were reported took place on the slopes of Apex Mountain, which, contrary to what most people might think, is not the peak where the resort and ski hills are located.

READ MORE: Epic snowfall at Apex Mountain sets records

“We actually ski on Mount Beaconsfield, which is a bit confusing. The avalanches happened on what we call Apex proper,” said Shalman. “Where they occurred is about two ridges over.”

No one was injured in the avalanches, and there was no need for any rescue. One slide was caused by a snowmobiler, and another was triggered by a set of experienced backcountry skiers.

“Without getting too technical, they did exactly what they were supposed to do when you do go into avalanche terrain,” said Shalman. “It’s called ski-cutting, where you cut across the top of the terrain, and you almost jump up and down to test the stability. As they did that, it did cause an avalanche to release, so nobody got caught up in it.”

Over the last few days, the ski hills and mountains around the Apex Resort have received massive amounts of snowfall, with some areas receiving 15o centimetre of fresh powder over the last six days.

Due to the amounts of snow, Apex is advising that the avalanche risk beyond the bounds of the ski area is extremely high.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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