Natural Resources

Avalanches

Date: February 7, 2004

Location: near Nain

Easting: ?

Northing: ?

Latitude: 56° 32' 00" N

Longitude: 61° 41' 00" W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: CBC news reports, Paul Fenton

Paul Fenton is based in Nain and is trained in avalanche safety. He wrote regarding this incident:-

"This occurred at 'Ananiks' Pond [informal name, exact location unknown], 1430 hrs on 7 February. Avalanche Hazard Warning at the time - HIGH. Snow boarders, male, aged 16 and 22 yrs. had been making runs at a no risk location north of Ananiks, and deciding to try small but steep terrain they chose Ananiks Pond. The 22 yr old triggered the release near the top of a SE aspect. The 16 yr old was caught while sitting down preparing to put the board on. He realized he was moving but was not sliding on the surface. He instinctively exited the release by crabbing on all fours. Some trees below the start zone were damaged. The 22 yr old had taken an introductory avalanche safety seminar last year, and he chose the approach route thinking it was stable as snow machine high mark tracks were on the slope adjacent to the steeper aspect he had planned to board. The 16 yr old has limited boarding/snow hazard experience. Equipment, one shovel, no probes or transceivers between the pair. They dug for 1.5 hours trying to recover the snow board with no luck. The snowboard was found down slope from the 16y r old's sitting position under 55 cm of debris near the toe of the deposit; it took 1 minute and 45 seconds by probing. Ironically the 22 yr old had lost an aunt in an avalanche accident many years ago."

At least two other human triggered avalanches are known to have occurred in the winter of 2003-04 in the Nain area.

 
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