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Avalanche, Alberta, Rocky Mountain, Bow Peak, West Face

AVALANCHE

Alberta, Rocky Mountains, Bow Peak, West Face

Two climbers were glissading down the west face of Bow Peak at a height of 2800 meters at 1800 hours on 19 March 1977. The sky was overcast and the temperature about — 15°C, and the snow surface was old, settled snow over surface hoar. They triggered a hard slab avalanche having a fracture 1.5 to two meters deep; the resulting avalanche 300 meters down a 35-degree slope over a width of 80 meters deposited a maximum depth of 4.5 meters. One was caught in the avalanche and recovered alive by his companion at 1840 hours. The companion left the victim at the site and went for help, which was not reached until 0715 hours on 20 March. The rescue party returned to find the victim dead. (Source: UNESCO Report on Destructive Avalanches, 1977.)