The mountains of Vancouver Island and the Coast Range in winter are of course subject to avalanches. With the assistance of a professional avalanche forecaster, CRSAR members are expected to be able to respond in the event that an avalanche buries someone and immediate help on site has not been successful in finding the victim.
Eighteen CRSAR members have been certified by the Justice Institute of B.C. in “Organized Avalanche Rescue”. In 2013, this training program was expanded to include two weekends of intensive classroom and outdoor training. Organized Avalanche Rescue Team Members (OARTM) learn to recognize potential avalanche terrain, to analyze snow and weather conditions in order to understand the likelihood of an avalanche, and to use rescue tools effectively.