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4 people, 2 dogs rescued from avalanche near Nelson, B.C. ski resort

Two people are taken to the hospital after surviving a Size 2.5 avalanche at the Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, B.C., on Dec. 27, 2021. Facebook/Nelson Search and Rescue

Four people and two dogs were rescued from a mid-sized avalanche near the Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson, B.C., on Monday night.

No one was fully buried, but two of those people were taken to the hospital for “serious injuries,” according to Nelson Search and Rescue. Their current condition is not known.

“With temperatures dropping below -20 rescuers worked quickly to get everyone to safety,” the service wrote in a Tuesday morning Facebook post.

“The rescue conducted in the dark, in steep, hazardous terrain involved over 25 volunteers and Whitewater staff.”

No one was fully buried in the avalanche on Dec. 27, 2021 at Whitewater Ski Resort, but Nelson Search and Rescue said two people were taken to the hospital for serious injuries. Facebook/Nelson Search and Rescue

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Nelson Search and Rescue said it responded to the SOS alert around 3:30 p.m., joined by Whitewater Ski Resort patrol. They used rescue toboggans to carry out the mission, “as darkness prevented the use of helicopter long-line.”

In its post, Nelson Search and Rescue described the “size 2.5” avalanche as having struck outside the Whitewater Ski area on the south face of the East Peak of Evening Ridge.

According to the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, there are five sizes of avalanche, ranging from “small” to “extremely large.” Its website describes a Size 2 avalanche as “medium” with the potential to be deadly.

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On Monday, in the Kootenay-Boundary region, Avalanche Canada rated the risk of avalanches as moderate at the alpine, treeline and below treeline levels.

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Avalanche Canada is a non-profit dedicated to public avalanche safety, and is a partner of the B.C. and Alberta provincial governments.

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