A man has been airlifted to the hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20. (Photo contributed)

A man has been airlifted to the hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20. (Photo contributed)

UPDATE: Avalanche consultants deployed to SilverStar

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.

SilverStar Mountain Resort has retained independent avalanche consultants to assist in the investigation of the isothermal avalanche that took place on a double black diamond run in Putnam Creek, (also known as the Backside) on Wednesday afternoon, March 20.

Putnam Creek is presently closed. SilverStar has also closed some south/southwest facing terrain east of the gondola including the Alpine Meadows Chair.

The avalanche consultants, along with the SilverStar Patrol team, will be conducting a thorough investigation of Wednesday’s incident, as well as assessing Resort-wide snow conditions. The re-opening of any terrain will be subject to the results of this investigation.

“As always, the safety of our guests and staff remains our highest concern,” said Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager.

“Due to privacy concerns and respecting the family of the guest injured in the avalanche, SilverStar will not be releasing any further information regarding the guest.”

The Comet Express, Des Schumann Summit Express Gondola, Silver Queen, Silverwoods Express, The Zone Carpet, Adventure Center carpet, Tube Town Carpet remain open – a total of seven of 10 lifts open with access to 46 runs of skiing and riding.

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.

Shortly after one avalanche on the backside of SilverStar sent one man to the hospital, a second small slide occurred on the under the gondola.

Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager, said the second slide occurred on a black diamond run below the gondola on the frontside of the mountain. No one was impacted by the second incident, and the frontside reopened Thursday morning.

BC Air Ambulance airlifted a man to Kelowna General Hospital after the initial isothermal avalanche on a double black diamond run on SilverStar’s Putnam Creek just after 12 p.m. Wednesday.

“We don’t know how severe the injuries are,” said Deacon. “All we know is that he was injured and taken by BC Air Ambulance.”

An isothermal avalanche means that all layers of the snowpack are at the same temperature, typically the freezing point, according to avalanche.org.

“We’ve never had this kind of avalanche happen at SilverStar before,” Deacon said. “As of right now, it is still under investigation.”

SilverStar’s backside, Putnam Creek has been closed to deal with the incident and will be closed until further notice. Deacon said no other runs are believed to be at risk of an avalanche.

The two small avalanches occurred the week leading up to SilverStar’s inaugural Seismic Mountain Festival March 22-31.

“Everything is still a go for the festival and we’re super excited,” Deacon said.

Read more: SilverStar’s new festival a ‘culinary paradise’

Temperatures are expected to cool over the weekend and reduce the risk of further avalanches, Deacon said. According to Environment Canada, Saturday will see a high of 10 C during the day and 4 C at night, followed by similar conditions until Wednesday.

Original: 3:08 p.m. Wednesday, March 20

An avalanche at SilverStar caused by the warm weather has sent one person to the hospital.

Due to warming in temperatures, an isothermal avalanche occurred at SilverStar Mountain Resort Wednesday afternoon, just after 12 p.m. on a double black diamond run located on SilverStar’s Putnam Creek. One man was involved in the incident and was transported to the hospital by BC Air Ambulance.

“We don’t know how severe the injuries are,” said Chantelle Deacon, communications and sponsorship manager. “All we know is that he was injured and taken by BC Air Ambulance.”

An isothermal avalanche means that all layers of the snowpack are at the same temperature, typically the freezing point, according to avalanche.org.

“We’ve never had this kind of avalanche happen at SilverStar before,” Deacon said. “As of right now, it is still under investigation.”

SilverStar’s backside, Putnam Creek has been closed to deal with the incident and will be closed until further notice. Deacon said no other runs are believed to be at risk of an avalanche.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Read more: Avalanche warning issued for all B.C. mountains

Read more: Highway 1 now open after avalanche



parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Letter writers weigh in on the City of Nanaimo adopting ‘doughnut’ economics as a guiding principle for decision-making.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: City of Nanaimo’s ‘doughnut’ has to be more than empty calories

Letter writers react to city council’s recent decision to adopt ‘doughnut’ economic model

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a car and a minivan Saturday afternoon at the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
One person taken to hospital after crash in north Nanaimo

Car and minivan collided Saturday at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

Police in Nanaimo hope to find the owner of a Giant Reign mountain bike that was seized after a man was spotted riding it without a helmet on the wrong side of the road on Christmas Eve. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP suspicious to find expensive bike covered in layer of duct tape

Police looking for owner of Giant Reign mountain bike that they believe was stolen

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker causes pain and damage at downtown Nanaimo gym

VIDEO: Suspect breaks fire alarm, slams door on business owner’s foot after attempting to defraud her

Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a car and a minivan Saturday afternoon at the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
One person taken to hospital after crash in north Nanaimo

Car and minivan collided Saturday at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Mary Ellen Drive

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a press conference last year. (Canadian Press photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Better federal vaccine planning badly needed

Why hasn’t Parliament done more to protect seniors and care homes, asks letter writer

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants

Tree cutting to start in Beban Park’s Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read