I’ve heard of cornices before but didn’t really understand how they were dangerous. What a tragedy. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.
The week before, a post on a popular hiking website warned people of the cornice at the top of the mountain, and that it would likely break off soon.
Lions Bay Search and Rescue manager Martin Colwell said cornices aren’t easy to see when hikers are on top of one.
“Cornices are tricky. It’s not obvious how far they can stand out. You really have to be cautious,” he said.
“I’m not sure if I was cautious enough yesterday.”
Karl Klassen, the warning service manager with Avalanche Canada says cornices are common at this time of year when there is high wind, warm temperatures and sticky snow.
“If you’re travelling on ridge crests you need to stay well away from the edge where the cornice forms, you want to stay on the windward side,” he said, adding that cornice failures are quite common.