“You have about 15 minutes to live”

Most of BC’s avalanche deaths occur in the B.C. Interior

“You have about 15 minutes to live.”

That is if you are buried by an avalanche, according to Princeton Ground Search and Rescue leader Randy Rorvik.

“Avalanche is a big consideration for our response,” said Rorvik, in an interview with The Spotlight following numerous road closures in the area due to heavy snow and avalanche warnings over last weekend.

Highways 3 and 5A, as well as Coalmont Road, were closed Friday and reopened at different times the following morning.

However Rorvik said danger still exists for outdoor enthusiasts who might be hiking, skiing or snowmobiling in the back country.

“Any cutback on a forest service road or a trail has the potential to slide, in my opinion,” he said.

Rorvik urged sportsmen and women to take proper precautions when outdoors, pack essential survival gear and to carry avalanche beacons that can be used by members of a party to locate a fellow traveller under the snow.

Along with specially constructed snow probes and shovels, they could be the difference between life and death.

“That’s pretty standard. Any snowmobiler should have them nowadays. There are lots of real stories of how they have saved lives.”

Rorvik said it is also possible to purchase air bags that are designed to help someone survive an avalanche.

RELATED: Avalanche danger climbs to high for Okanagan

The ground search and rescue squad keeps a close eye on avalanche conditions, he said, as there are strict protocols to follow if the crew is called out when they exist.

Avalanches kill an average of 10 people a year in this province, according to a 2015 BC Coroner’s report.

Almost 70 per cent of those fatalities occur in the Interior and most of the victims are either snowmobilers or skiers.

Ninety percent of people killed by avalanches are men, and the average age of those victims is 39.9 years.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Coordinated search finds missing Kelowna boy

All available police resources were called in to help find a missing boy Monday afternoon

Kelowna students leave for downhill challenge

A group of students from UBCO is ready for annual concrete toboggan race

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Slayer adds Penticton to North American tour

Slayer adds the South Okanagan Events Centre as a stop on their last tour

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Vancouver Canucks confirm participation in NHL Young Stars

Canucks confirmed participation, at least for this year, in the NHL Young Stars event in Penticton

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Snowfall warnings for mountain passes

Lots of snow expected to fall today.

Most Read