Two snowboarders carried 130 metres by an avalanche near Queenstown and dumped on top of a frozen lake had “the fright of their lives”.

The incident was one of two this week where avalanches were sparked by skiers or snowboarders in back country terrain outside of The Remarkables ski area.

The area is outside of the control and management of the ski area but the incidents were reported to ski area staff.


Manager Ross Lawrence said he understood the snowboarders had the right equipment and had checked the snow pack by digging a pit before walking to the Telex chute, above Lake Alta, on Tuesday.

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They sparked the avalanche on their second run.



“They got the fright of their lives. They were carried probably 130m from the top of the avalanche down onto the lake. The lake surface is covered in snow and ice, which is another scary thing,” he said.

The next day skiers sparked an avalanche in the Doolans area, on the other side of the skifield.

It was reported on by Queenstown resident Jef Desbecker​, who estimated the avalanche was 260m wide and 700m long.

He wrote that the avalanche was released remotely in an adjacent slope from the weight of a single skier on his group’s chosen slope.

“The fracture ran along exposed rocks below the ridge through the start zones, also involving the slope the skier was on. The skier managed to ski to the bottom of the slope (unaware he was being followed) and ski safely away from the avalanche path. He then skinned up the exposed bed surface and we all

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