Historical Incidents

Incident Summary

Runner Peak
Location Description
Approximately 3 km north of the Seymour Ski area parking lot
49.39370 °, -122.94340 °
1325 m
A group of two snowshoers were winter camping in the vicinity of Mount Seymour. In the morning of the incident, they left their tent erected and headed towards Runner Peak. While moving in steep terrain near the summit of Runner Peak, the group triggered a size 2.5 slab avalanche that caught both party members. One person became entangled in trees on very steep terrain and was rescued by helicopter long-line. The second person was found two days later buried under a little over 1 m of snow by probing. Rescuers noted an unstable layer of snow buried approximately 70 cm below the surface comprising facetted snow overlying a crust. Snowpack tests confirmed this failure plane was highly reactive to human-triggering. The travelers were equipped with snowshoes and ice axe but did not carry avalanche rescue gear.


Date/TimeSizeTypeTriggerElevationAspectSlab widthSlab Thickness
2.5SSa1325 mNW150 m60 cm


Present TempMax TempMin Temp24hr TrendWind SpeedWind DirectionSky ConditionPrecipitation Type & Intensity

Weather Comment: Observations are based on Mt Seymour resort's patrol observations. Temperatures were -2 to -5C during the previous storm event (Feb 14-16). Temps warmed to near 0C the day before the accident with clear skies (Feb 17). Clouds rolled in early on the morning of the accident and temperatures cooled.


Snowpack24hr SnowStorm SnowStorm Date
325 cm-40 cm2019-02-14 cm

Snowpack Comment: Average HS at 1200-1300 m is 300-350 cm. This is near average for this time of year in the area. The first half of the season was very warm and relatively wet. Cold drier weather kicked in at the beginning of Feb and it’s been 3 weeks of unusual weather conditions in the area. Persistent slab problem found, which is very atypical for the North Shore. A large whump was felt by rescuers near the summit of runner peak on the first day of the rescue. Snowpack summary: 8 cm F HN on 60 cm 4F-1F+ slab (DF), on 15-20 cm FCxr, on Feb 3 Crust. Several thin sun crusts present in top 50-70 cm on solar aspects. Snowpack test results: Tests performed Feb. 20: NW aspect at 1250 m. ECT 23 SP down 67 cm on FCxr. PST 25 END down 67 cm. See video links: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ye4srwlhi0h5y54/IMG_0133.MOV?dl=0 and https://www.dropbox.com/s/8dfl5wbu5fdgyq1/SnowTest-ECT.mov?dl=0


Document DateTitleSource
2019-02-20Avalanche Path with location of victimMetro Vancouverview
2019-02-20Start zone showing location of survivorMetro Vancouverview