Man hospitalized after being caught in avalanche in Rogers Pass

A Revelstoke man was rushed to hospital after being caught in an avalanche in Rogers Pass on Boxing Day.

A photo of the avalanche path that a Revelstoke man was caught in on Monday.

A Revelstoke man was rushed to hospital after being caught in an avalanche in Rogers Pass on Boxing Day.

Nick Thomas was skinning up NRC Gully with a friend when he triggered the avalanche and was sent crashing over a rock band on Monday, Dec. 26.

“There’s not a lot to say really. It was a bit of a mis-judgement on my part,” he told the Review from the hospital in Kelowna on Friday. “It wasn’t a huge avalanche but unfortunately it took me down a rock band. I got a bit beaten up by it.”

Thomas wasn’t fully buried in the slide but he broke his shoulder blade and dislocated his hip as a result.

He said he and his friend were near the top of the bowl at the top of NRC Gully when he triggered the avalanche. The slide, which Parks Canada categorized as a size two, swept him off his feet and carried him over a cliff band below.

“I knew I was above not very nice terrain so I was trying to dig myself into the bed and not go further, but unfortunately I was taken for quite a ride,” he said.

His friend was able to call for help and a rescue team from Parks Canada came to fly him off the mountain. He was then transported by BC Ambulance to Revelstoke and later to Kelowna.

The avalanche danger for Glacier National Park was rated moderate in the alpine and at treeline that day. The bulletin warned of the possibility of storm slabs failing on a weak layer down 50-60 centimetres that was buried on Dec. 18. It advised against travelling on unsupported slopes.

“Isolated storm slabs should keep you on your toes, be vigilant, exercising caution as you investigate each slope independently,” stated the bulletin.

Allison Fleischer, a spokesperson for Glacier National Park, said in an e-mail that the avalanche failed on the Dec. 18 weak layer. The crown of the avalanche was about 25 metres wide and the slide ran for about 205 metres.

Thomas, who has been backcountry skiing for 20 years, said his big takeaway from the incident is to be more aware of what’s below.

“Although the avalanche risk wasn’t that high on that day, we were getting up towards the ridge line, snow conditions were changing,” he said. “There was a wind effect and even a very small avalanche can have serious consequences when you’re in awkward terrain.”

Thomas thanked Parks Canada and BC Ambulance for rescuing him and getting him to a hospital. He said he’s not sure how long it will take to recover, but doesn’t expect to ski again this winter.

Just Posted

Revelstoke resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

New auxilory conservation officer in Revelstoke area – for now

Zeb Martin has primarliy been hired for monitoring caribou closures

Revelstoke Rod and Gun club supports fishing proposal with conditions

The proposal considers reopening Revelstoke Reach of the Columbia Reach to angling

Jocelyn’s Jottings: A postive take on resolutions

In the last column I wrote I looked back on 2018. This… Continue reading

Growls and Hugs for Jan. 16

Someone or something got your hackles up? Or maybe someone made you… Continue reading

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read