A sign at Revelstoke Mountain Resort warns against unprepared excursions into the backcountry.

Justice minister issues spring break slackcountry warning

Justice minister dislikes slackcountry label, warns out-of-bounds skiing has same risk as backcountry, needs equal caution, preparedness

The B.C. Ministry of Justice has issued an unusual warning against unprepared ‘slackcountry’ skiing.

A Mar. 12 media release defines slackcountry as lift-accessed backcountry skiing, warning those who duck the ropes that they are essentially backcountry skiing and should be prepared.

“It is important that those who venture out-of-bounds take all the necessary precautions and that all recreation enthusiasts who choose to do so recognize they are taking some measure of personal risk,” states the ministry.

B.C. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond underscored the potential dangers involved in a warning targeted at spring breakers heading for the slopes: “It should not be called slackcountry. It is backcountry and it can be dangerous. This spring break, we are urging skiers and snowboarders not to go out of bounds – it can be incredibly hazardous and it is simply not worth the risk. I also want to encourage everyone to make sure that they are aware of the dangers that come with ducking the rope. This is especially important for parents to discuss with their children.”

She was joined by Revelstoke-based acting Executive Director for the Canadian Avalanche Centre Karl Klassen, who called for caution and preparedness: “Crossing a boundary rope is a big decision. Once you’re outside the ski area boundaries you’re in the backcountry and you need to be able to take care of yourself and your partners. That means avalanche rescue equipment, first aid supplies and awareness of the risk you’re taking.”

A fatal Feb. 22 avalanche outside the boundary rope at Revelstoke Mountain Resort occurred after a group of skiers ducked the rope into an uncontrolled area and were swept down the hill in an avalanche.

The joint Ministry of Justice and Canadian Avalanche Centre media release provided the following list of resources:

* No one should be entering areas marked “closed”, whether for avalanche danger or any other hazard. If you do so, you run the risk of having your lift pass revoked and even being fined. Most importantly, you are endangering yourself and others.

* If you are thinking of going out of bounds, check in with the resort for the best point of access to the backcountry.

* Everyone in a backcountry party needs to be equipped with a shovel, probe and transceiver. More information on safety equipment is available at: www.youtube.com/user/emergencyinfobc

* The CAC strongly recommends all backcountry users take an avalanche awareness course. A list of instructors and courses can be found at:

www.avalanche.ca/training

* Snowpack stability changes constantly throughout the winter. Backcountry users need to check the avalanche bulletin regularly to keep informed of conditions in their area. Get the most recent bulletin and weather forecasts at:

www.avalanche.ca/cac/bulletins/latest

* Planning ahead is a must – before you head outdoors be sure to leave a trip plan with someone and stick to that plan. For a printable copy of a trip plan visit:

www.adventuresmart.ca/trip_safety/planning.htm

 

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Q and A with MLA Doug Clovechok for Columbia River Revelstoke

Columbia River Treaty, Three Valley Gap improvements, caribou, and invasive species were discussed

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Cafe opens in U.S. named Revelstoke Coffee

The owners visited Revelstoke two years ago, loved it and decided to name their business after it

Revelstoke council to hear first proposed cannabis store application

Starbuds would be located at 109 Connaught Ave.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Single-bridge option chosen to replace Highway 1 bridge in Sicamous

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Sicamous’ Main Street

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read