Detailed Accident Report
Submitted By: Frank W. Baumann
Place: Big White Mountain, near Kelowna
Summary: 5 snowboarders caught
Five Lucky To Survive Kelowna Area
None Of The Back Country Snowboarders Had Proper
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.