All clear given after avalanche search
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 4:08p.m.
By Jenny Suo
Mountain rescue teams have given the all clear after scouring avalanche debris near the Remarkables ski field this evening.
Search teams swung into action after the avalanche came down this afternoon, amid fears skiers may have been buried under the snow.
The emergency search was launched after a ski patroller spotted debris from an avalanche just before 3pm this afternoon.
“After a rigorous search through our grid system, we have confirmed that we are 100 percent certain, nobody has been buried by the avalanche debris,” says NZSki chief executive James Coddington.
The avalanche came down in an area outside of the main ski field, in a bowl called Lake Alta, which lies below two peaks called Double Cone.
It's a back country part of the mountain, not part of the groomed ski field area itself.
Sniffer dogs and 40 searchers were deployed to look for anyone who may have been in the area at the time while ski field staff checked to see if any skiers were missing.
The avalanche was believed to be about 1.5m high, 80m wide and 100-120m long.
The area doesn't attract many people, as its difficult to get to.
“The chances [of someone being caught in it] were remote but that does not change how we conduct our grid search, nor our attitudes towards that grid search,” says Mr Coddington.
A search that tonight ended in relief.
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27/09/2012 4:55:01 p.m.
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