Skier taken to hospital after being caught in avalanche, dragged in Banff National Park

A skier was taken to hospital after an avalanche in the Lake Louise area.

Parks Canada said three skiers were skiing on Mount Patterson, along the Icefields Parkway within Banff National Park near Bow Summit, when they were hit by a Size 2 avalanche while in a steep gully.

The skiers were carried down about 100 metres, officials said.

One skier sustained a head injury and was taken to the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital by ambulance. The other two skiers were assessed on scene for minor injuries.


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According to Avalanche Canada, a Size 2 avalanche has the potential to bury, injure or kill a person and has a typical path length of about 100 metres.

Officials said the visitor safety specialists were alerted by a beacon from an inReach device the skiers had with them. The specialists were taken to the scene by Alpine Helicopters.

“Visitor safety is a top priority for Parks Canada and we remind visitors that anyone travelling into the backcountry is responsible for their own safety,” Parks Canada spokesperson Lesley Matheson said in an email.

“The group of skiers were well prepared and had the right avalanche rescue equipment with them and a device to alert emergency services.”

Matheson said Parks Canada recommends visitors carry a shovel, probe, beacon and communication device when travelling in avalanche terrain and remain aware of their surroundings in case of an emergency situation.

Officials also urge travellers to check conditions and be aware of any advisories before heading out.

Several avalanche warnings are in place throughout Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks as “early season conditions” are posing a significant risk.

“Even though it is October, the alpine snowpack is deep and avalanche hazard exists,” Matheson said.

An early fall snowstorm in October prompted Alberta Parks officials to issue an avalanche warning in Kananaskis Country, which remained in place on Oct. 29.

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