Chuck, our #1 Trip Reporter, is notorious for crossing semi-frozen rivers and creeks without ever falling in. When I look at his photos, I can almost hear the ice cracking beneath his skis. An incident occurred on Friday on the Pipestone river to three skiers who broke through the ice. From the story in the Crag and Canyon…
In a separate incident Friday, three local backcountry skiers, two males and one female, were travelling up the Pipestone River toward Little Pipestone Cabin and crossing the river when one of the members of the party fell into an open area of water. One of the other two in the party jumped in to assist the fallen person and they were able to get out of the water and back to shore.
Drenched and cold, the party called in to Parks dispatch for a rescue via radio but one was not feasible until the next morning due to darkness.
“The group, being very well-prepared, managed to build a fire in a makeshift shelter and spent the night out and then visitor safety staff were able to conduct a routine helicopter evacuation the next day,” said Beardmore. “Other than being cold, wet and tired, they were fine.”
The incident occurred approximately 10 kilometres from Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Beardmore warns outdoor adventurers that currently ice is not as thick as usual and they should be cautious travelling across a body of water.
“Creeks for this time of year are more open than usual for a variety of reasons, typically warmer temperatures and more snow. So places where people would typically expect to walk over a frozen body of water, they aren’t frozen right now,” said Beardmore.
When I skied the Pipestone loop on Monday, I was right on the shore of the river and could see that it was still open in a lot of areas. If you click on the link, you can also read about a man who went over Bow Falls today.