Avalanche at Emerald Lake

Here’s a photo, taken in 2004, which shows the slope where it happened. :

Emerald Lake avalanche slide path

Update: There was the first avalanche which caught the two skiers. A second one at night which is referred to below. See comments.

We have some confusion over when this slide occurred. From the coverage in the media, it sounds like it happened during the day, with two skiers getting caught in it.  The report on the Kicking Horse Ski Club website says Saturday night.  Are we talking about two different avalanches? If anyone can clear this up, please leave a comment.

If memory serves, the slide path is only about 40 – 50 metres wide at the bottom. It sounds like the avalanche took out some trees, and the path is likely a little wider today.

Posted this morning on the website of the Kicking Horse Ski Club:

The avalanche came down at Emerald on Saturday night !!!!
The hiking trail and lake trail are TOTALLY wiped out.
The force broke through the ice all the way to the bridge!!!
Open water EVERYWHERE !!!!!
****** Ski the Kicking Horse trail and Field to the Natural Bridge and be safe!!!
***Stay off the CONNECTOR cause there are 2 danger areas on it!!
What a winter we are having!!!

Two skiers were caught in the first avalanche which happened earlier in the day. Read more news coverage Canada.com and  Global TV  

Bottom of the avalanche slide path

Above photo(from archive): I believe this is the slide path(where I’m standing with the camera) and in the distance is probably the bridge they’re talking about. Above me is the steep slope. The two people are on the hiking trail. In the top photo, I’d be standing on the yellow line which marks the groomed ski trail.

Here’s a photo I took two weeks ago of the Mini avalanche on the Emerald Connector.

While searching my archive for photos, I came across a lot of nice pictures of Emerald Lake:

Emerald Lake alluvial fan trail

Emerald Lake alluvial fan trail


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hey Bob, Yes there were 2 avalanches! And yes the big one was at about 11 pm. There is NO trail on the lake and the debris on the walking trail and old ski trail across the slide path is extensive. Does NOT look like we will see another track on the lake this winter. The grooming has stopped on the Alluvial fan and horsetrail—to our dismay. On a good note—the Avalanche Safety guys DID bomb the slidepath on the Connector and it came down with only some dusting on the ski trail and road. It is sad with this big family weekend coming up—great snowshoeing though. Enjoy the Connecttor, Kicking Horse and the full moon. Cheers, Marilyn

  2. There were 2 separate avalanches on Saturday. A 3.5 came down around mid day, injuring the 2 skiers. A few hours after they were rescued, a 4 came down, taking out mature timber, and crashing through the ice of Emerald Lake.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I’m a little surprised we didn’t hear anything in the media about the second one, but I guess if no people were involved, they don’t consider it a significant event. -Bob

  3. Tom;

    Were you looking at the photos on the KHSC website, where they say it happened at 11:30 pm at night? That has me confused, too. From the coverage in the media, it sounds to me like this was the place where the two skiers were caught. If anyone can shed some light…-Bob

  4. Hi Bob; Perhaps you can clear something up for me.I thought the above avalanche was the same as the one that injured the two skiers. By the times given it does not appear to be so. If not, do you know where exactly where the avalanche that injured the two skiers occurred.

    On a precautionary note, I always thought that skiing on a lake, obviously away from any avalanche runouts, would be the safest place to be with regards avoiding avalanche risks. It never occurred to me that an avalanche could break up the ice as this one did. Being caught up in open water with skis/snowshoes on at this time of year would almost mean certain death.

    Thanks and keep up the good work. Tom

  5. The slide path does continue right up into the alpine, beyond the trees seen in the photo. Good thing it was during the night or people could have been hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *