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Deadly avalanche hits near Kimberley, BC

Large avalanche kills one man in BC's Purcell range
Large avalanche kills one man in BC's Purcell range

Staff writers

March 25, 2013 — Crews found the body of a snowmobiler who was caught in a large avalanche Saturday.

Monday's avalanche risk
Monday's avalanche risk

More than 70 people and two dogs took part in the search for a man who was caught in an avalanche near Kimberley, BC over the weekend.

Crews located the body in the Purcell Mountains Sunday afternoon, under about a metre of snow. Officials say the man was killed when an avalanche struck on Saturday. 

The large avalanche with a large debris field made recovery efforts extremely difficult. Rescue crews had to blast the area before the site was safe enough to access.

On Friday, the Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for backcountry recreational users in BC's Northwest Coast and Inland regions.

The statement warned of the snowpack's "uncharacteristic weak layer," which could easily be triggered by the weight of a skier or snowmobiler. 

Experts say the avalanche risk is still very high in the spring and all recreational backcountry users are urged to take an avalanche awareness course and check the avalanche bulletin regularly to keep informed of conditions in their area.

With files from The Canadian Press

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