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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Rotary Club celebrates over 90 years of service

Globally, there are over 1 million Rotary members

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Highway 1 closed near Golden

DriveBC estimates the road to reopen at 1 p.m.

Rain for Revelstoke

Temperature hovering around zero for today

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

Pumphouse project puts North Okanagan taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read