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Massive avalanche test scheduled at Cypress Bowl

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – North Shore Rescue will be conducting a massive test of its avalanche response capabilities, beginning tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock.  It’s happening at Cypress Bowl.

“It’s a scenario based on 12 snowshoers who are hit by an avalanche,” explains NSR’s Tim Jones.

The third annual drill is called Snow Man 3.  The public is invited to watch the action at Lot 1 on Cypress.

“You’ll see the helicopters, long-line equipment,” says Jones.  “You’ll see the hoisting of the military helicopter if it comes over, you’ll see the avalanche dog team, you’ll see ground members with their avalanche probes.”

Several agencies are participating in the avalanche response drill with NSR including Metro Vancouver, BC Ambulance Service, BC Coroner, and the three local mountain resorts.


Feb 1500hrs Weather Clear- minus two Celsius- Avi Hazard -At and Below Tree line- Considerable- recent storm cycle of 60 cm new snow past 48 hours on ice crust.

Twelve snowshoers in two groups of six have been hit by a class two avalanche off Hollyburn Mtn.

Six members of the one group have Avi transceivers, the other group doesn’t. Two Avi trained and equipped snowshoers witness incident.

They call 911 and then initiate rescue of the six buried snowshoers who have Avi transceivers.

All six rescued snowshoers have sustained moderate and minor injuries. The other six without transceivers are still buried when ground based rescue team arrives.

There is a two hour light window with another severe storm cycle predicted to start at 1800.

Incident Site:

Cypress Bowl Resorts- Olympic Ski Mogul Area above Lot 1

Drill Objectives:

Establish Command at SAR Station Cypress to support land and air response operations and liaise with all other agencies.

This will include intelligence and forward planning activities as per The Plan.

To respond a joint air and land based response which will carry out CODE ALPHA response, triage, rescue and recovery activities in coordination with NSR Command and other agencies Effective Triage and Timely air evacuation of all subjects to Cypress Lot 1