In Pictures: The avalanche at Greenslide Road

By David F. Rooney

It took work crews two days to clear Airport Way of an avalanche that came thundering down the slopes of Mount Cartier near Greenslide Road.

Greenslide is a known avalanche chute and was the scene of an earlier avalanche in the spring of 2014.

Unlike the 2014 avalanche, much of this slide appeared to consist of water-saturated earth with a seasoning of boulders and shattered trees. It may have started high above the valley on the ridge to the right of the peak as photos taken by professional photographer Kip Wiley immediately after the avalanche occurred on Thursday show a very visible fracture line in the snow.

Photographer Kip Wiley heard about the avalanche from a friend whose husband was out road riding. “He commented that it was really fresh and might have missed it (or it missed him) by about five minutes,” Kip told The Current. “And it’s Revelstoke. Anything to do with snow and the word spreads like wildfire.
“I shot this from the house during a short break in the clouds this morning. The fracture line is huge and it is mind boggling to think of how much snow came down off Cartier yesterday.” You can see the fracture line just below the ridge line to the right of Cartier’s peak. Please click on the image to see a larger version of this photo. Kip Wiley photo

Work crews were quick to react and cordoned off Airport Way early Thursday afternoon. All vehicles were stopped and turned around until Saturday morning when I returned (for the third time) at 10:15 am.

Here are some photos that give you a clear idea of the scale of the slide:

Here’s a shot of the avalanche taken about five minutes after work crews packed up and left at about 10:15 Saturday morning. The avalanche is about 6 metres or 20 feet in height. Its face consists of water-saturated earth mixed with boulders and shattered trees. Please click on this image to see a larger version of the photo. David F. Rooney photo
This is the second arm of the avalanche that burst through the trees and over the road about 15 metres south of the main body of the slide. David F. Rooney photo