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.
Twenty-six CRSAR members have been certified by the Justice Institute of B.C. as “Organized Avalanche Rescue Team Members”, and we have 3 members certified as Team Leaders. 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. Organized Avalanche Rescue Team Leaders (OARTL) are trained to a higher level in these same areas, and are tasked with leading rescue teams in avalanche terrain.