- 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/Time||Size||Type||Trigger||Elevation||Aspect||Slab width||Slab Thickness|
|2.5||S||Sa||1325 m||NW||150 m||60 cm|
|Present Temp||Max Temp||Min Temp||24hr Trend||Wind Speed||Wind Direction||Sky Condition||Precipitation 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.
|Snowpack||24hr Snow||Storm Snow||Storm Date|
|325 cm||-||40 cm||2019-02-14 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
|2019-02-20||Avalanche Path with location of victim||Metro Vancouver||view|
|2019-02-20||Start zone showing location of survivor||Metro Vancouver||view|