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

Mt. Conkle wildfire near Summerland remains 118 hectares

This fire has several good water sources and has good road access.

Okanagan Wildfires: Monday morning update on wildfires and evacuations

A Monday morning look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Peachland wildfire mapped at over 1,500 hectares

Smoke may increase today around the valley

Okanagan Mountain Park fire remains the same size

Crews built hand guards and continued to extinguish hot spots.

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Man charged in 2006 B.C. murder extradited to Canada from South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Nitty Gritty Dirt band returns to the South Okanagan

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Most Read