Historical Incidents

Incident Summary

Date
2020-01-10
Location
Mount Hector
Location Description
Approximately 16km NW of Lake Louise
Province
AB
Coordinates
51.55546 °, -116.27115 °
Elevation
2300 m
Activity
Skiing
Involvement
1
Injury
0
Fatality
1
Description
A party of three were skiing on a south-facing slope on Mt Hector in Banff National Park. A slab avalanche approximately 80 m wide was triggered. The crown tapered dramatically along the crest of the ridge from nearly 2 m in heavily wind-loaded drifts to as little as 40 cm. The avalanche ran for approximately 550 m and caught one person who was deeply buried by the debris. The victim was extricated by companion rescue and airlifted to hospital. She succumbed to her injuries and died the following day.

Avalanches

Date/TimeSizeTypeTriggerElevationAspectSlab widthSlab Thickness
2.5SSa2500 mS100 m80 cm

Weather

Present TempMax TempMin Temp24hr TrendWind SpeedWind DirectionSky ConditionPrecipitation Type & Intensity
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Snowpack

Snowpack24hr SnowStorm SnowStorm Date
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Snowpack Comment: The avalanche ran on a weak layer of facets and depth hoar near the base of the snowpack. The avalanche caused most of the snow to be removed from along its path, exposing the ground and scrubby trees in many places.

Documents

Document DateTitleSource
2020-01-23Upper slide pathParks Canadaview
2020-01-23Slide Path with burial locationParks Canada - AvCan MINview
2020-01-23Variable FLParks Canadaview