Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2001-03-22
Submitted By: Frank W. Baumann
Place: Big White Mountain, near Kelowna
State: BC
Country: CANADA
Summary: 5 snowboarders caught


Five Lucky To Survive Kelowna Area


None Of The Back Country Snowboarders Had Proper

Avalanche Equipment

KELOWNA, 7:30 p.m. PST March 22,

2001 --Five snowboarders returning from an

out-of-bounds area were caught in an

avalanche on Big White Mountain

Wednesday. Luckily, all returned with their


Twenty-four hours after the

fact, the avalanche is clearly

visible. While it was small,

it could have been deadly.

The five snowboarders were hiking out of

the back country after a morning of fun when

the slide hit. Four managed to stay on top of the snow, while

the fifth was partially buried. The others came quickly to his


They were truly lucky to have lived. Even though they were

in the back country, none had proper avalanche equipment

like a shovel or a transceiver.

The avalanche was no surprise. Resorts like Big White say

this year?s snowpack is less stable, and with new snow and

warmer weather the conditions are perfect for avalanches.

While anybody over the age of 19 has the right to ski in the

back country, rescuers say you take a bigger chance during

the avalanche season.