February 6, 2016 11:59 pm
Updated: February 7, 2016 11:49 am

Avalanche Training course takes place in Whistler

WATCH: It was just a week ago that five snowmobilers were killed when a massive avalanche came down near McBride. It turns out many had the proper equipment, but it still wasn't enough. As Catherine Urquhart reports, an exercise today showed how knowledge and training can be the key to staying alive.


In the aftermath of last week’s fatal avalanche near McBride, a routine avalanche training course by Niko Weis in Whistler took on extra interest this weekend.

Students taking the two-day training course learn what to do if an avalanche is triggered, and are shown how easily people can be buried.

“They learn how to use avalanche beacon rescue equipment, learn how to recognize the terrain around us, and how to read the snow, and know whether its safe or not,” said Weis.

Having a beacon is highly recommended, regardless of where someone is sledding. But it doesn’t guarantee someone will be rescued.

“With a high avalanche danger rating, we wouldn’t be sending teams directly in that terrain. It’s not safe for people to be in there, and it’s not safe for our teams to go in there,” said Doug Pope, manager with North Shore Rescue.

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