A pair of slides, the first visible in the background, caught skiers in the backcountry on Apex Mountain on Dec. 31, 2021. (Avalanche Canada)

A pair of slides, the first visible in the background, caught skiers in the backcountry on Apex Mountain on Dec. 31, 2021. (Avalanche Canada)

Pair of avalanches catch skiers in Apex backcountry to end 2021

The skiers were cutting below the ski line when slope gave way

Several skiers out in the backcountry on Apex Mountain got caught in a pair of avalanches on Dec. 31 according to Avalanche Canada’s tracker.

The avalanches caught three of the eight skiers in the group, burying two of them and catching the third, leaving a debris pile two meters deep after the snow had settled.

With recent heavy snowfall in the region, the risk of further avalanches in the backcountry is something to be aware of. The mountains in the area have received more than 40 centimetres of snow in the last week, according to Apex Resort general manager James Shalman.

“There’s a very high avalanche risk in the back country right now,” said Shalman. “The skiing is amazing inbounds, and I highly recommend staying inbounds and enjoying what we have in a safe, controlled environment.”

READ MORE: Apex ski resort warns enthusiasts after backcountry avalanches

The first avalanche was triggered while cutting below the ski line, with the second avalanche catching a skier. The skier deployed their air bag and was found partially buried after the avalanche had settled.

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