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BC avalanche kills skier


A heightened risk of avalanches has prompted warnings throughout BC
A heightened risk of avalanches has prompted warnings throughout BC

Staff writers

March 13, 2012 — A man has died after an avalanche was triggered south of Revelstoke, BC on Sunday.

Avalanche risks Tuesday
Avalanche risks Tuesday

RCMP say the slide occurred in the Ghost Peak area Sunday afternoon and buried a backcountry skier.

Other members of the group survived the avalanche and were able to locate the skier using a search beacon. By the time rescue crews arrived however, the skier was pronounced dead.

Crews were initially unable to remove the skier because of high winds and poor weather conditions.

RCMP say the 33-year-old victim was from Calgary, but are not releasing his name. Officials say all the men were experienced back-country skiers. 

Due to a higher risk of avalanches, a warning had been issued by the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) over the weekend. The warning was especially geared for recreational back-country users. 

The warning included mountains ranging from the South Coast Inland, the Columbia Mountains from near Prince George in the north to the US border in the south, and BC's South Rockies.

Back-country users urged to stay up-to-date with avalanche bulletins
Back-country users urged to stay up-to-date with avalanche bulletins

"We have a variety of issues within the snowpack right now that cause us two main concerns," explains Ilya Storm, CAA Public Avalanche Warning Services Coordinator.

"The first is that the size of avalanches is likely to be much bigger than might be expected, and could be triggered remotely, which means triggered at a distance or from the bottom of the slope. Our other main concern is that slopes generally considered safer -- lower angle, below treeline - are primed for human triggering," adds Storm.

The CAC has advised all back-country users to stay up-to-date with avalanche bulletins.

They also recommend that anyone using the area for recreational purposes should be equipped with a shovel, probe and transceiver. Taking an avalanche awareness course is something that can be useful, as well.

For bulletins, blog and information, make sure to check out: www.avalanche.ca/cac


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