Robertson Glacier drainage - Kananaskis
On October 19 there was a fatality involving a backcountry skier in the drainage below the Robertson Glacier. Kananaskis Country Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded to the incident around 1430hrs. While sliding down very low angle terrain the subject's skis bottomed out in the shallow snowpack and he was pitched forward into rocky terrain suffering severe trauma. Despite heroic efforts by the subject's companions on scene, and interventions by rescuers and paramedics, the subject succumbed to his injuries.
The incident occurred due to the low early-season snow coverage and related hazards. The subject was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. This was not an avalanche incident.
In most areas around Kananaskis there is not enough snow to have good safe skiing right now. There is an average of only 10-30 cm at treeline and this does not cover the rocks or any of the ground debris. If you do fall in these areas it is highly likely that you will get hurt. While in the field yesterday forecasters observed several loose dry avalanches in steep alpine terrain. Alpine features were getting affected by wind and slab development at these elevations is probable. Keep in mind that being caught in even a small slid will likely result in injury due to the low snow coverage.
Our condolences to all those involved.
Kananaskis Country Public Safety