I’m working on an article on the mechanisms by which snowshoers near Vancouver tend to get in trouble (injury and death).
The summary is this: snowshoers tend to have slip-and-fall injuries on hard snow during periods of sunny weather either in the spring or during midwinter Arctic high pressure or Arctic outflow conditions. the hard snow in the spring is caused by melt-freeze cycles, the hard snow in mid-winter is caused by warm fronts bringing rain to the top of the local mountains, followed by cold weather which freezes a thick ice crust into the snow.
I’ve been working on this article since last year, but given the death on the north shore this weekend (first article below), I figure a warning can’t wait. Every single year I’ve been a SAR volunteer there’s been an injury or death directly attributable to a snowshoer (or hiker) falling on hard snow.
My article will go into more detail on the causes and avoidance of this kind of incident. Below are a quick selection of news incidents from the past few years: