A recent dump of snow this past weekend resulted in a scary moment yesterday for New Zealand skiers and boarders, as an avalanche struck the South Face run at the Mt. Hutt ski area.
Two skiers were caught in its path but no one was injured.
The alarm was raised by a ski patroller in the area and the Ski Area avalanche plan immediately went into action.
“Patrollers were immediately on the scene and avalanche rescue dogs flown in,” said Ski Area Manager Dave Wilson. “Eyewitnesses were interviewed and while it appeared everyone was accounted for, we took the precaution of closing the ski area and asking guests to return to their cars for a full and thorough head count. Ski Patrollers had skied the face to check it just prior to the avalanche.”
The avalanche was a widespread slab shallow type event that was approximately 12″ deep.
Avalanche control work prior to the avalanche included heli-bombing on Monday, and further hand charge bombing was implemented on Tuesday. Ski cutting was also completed prior to opening.