Dana Ruddy (right) and Sean Elliott on a 2015 ski tour. On February 28, Ruddy was caught in an avalanche in the Tonquin Valley. Elliott dug him out and skied for help. //
LOCAL SKIER SURVIVES CLOSE CALL WITH AVALANCE
One of Jasper’s most experienced mountaineers is in hospital in Edmonton after getting caught in a size three avalanche on February 28.
Dana Ruddy was evacuated by helicopter from the Portal Creek area in Jasper’s Tonquin Valley after he triggered, and was subsequently caught in, a large avalanche, The Jasper Local has learned.
Ruddy, a born-and-raised Jasperite, was dug out of the avalanche debris by his friend and skiing partner, Sean Elliott, who then skied out for help.
Suffering extensive injuries to his leg and chest area, Ruddy was air-lifted to an awaiting ambulance via Parks Canada rescue officials. He was then transported to Edmonton. A STARS helicopter could not fly due to poor weather, The Jasper Local has learned.
On February 28, Jasper National Park public safety officials reported that avalanche conditions were considerable above treeline, with a risk of persistent weak layers causing potential slab avalanches.
The size three avalanche triggered by Ruddy had a 1.5 metre crown, observers said.