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Another Fatal Avalanche in B.C.

April 6, 2010 — Another fatal avalanche from Monday night has been confirmed, bringing the death toll this season to 11.

Another snowmobiler has been killed in a B.C. avalanche.

RCMP have confirmed that a 41 year old man, from Crossfield, Alberta died after snowmobiling with three others in Bugaboo provincial park near Invermere Monday night. He was caught in a nearly 70 metre wide slide and sadly did not make it through.

According to RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk the man was 'high marking.' This is a term used for when snowmobilers test the waters and see how high up the mountain they can ride.

This recent fatality brings the death toll from slides in the province's backcountry this season to 11. There has been a string of avalanches that have struck the interior in the past couple of months.

On March 13th, two snowmobilers died on Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke. One person was killed on March 19th after a slide near Eagle Pass Mountain. On March 20th, a slide in Wells Gray provincial park near Clearwater killed two heli-skiers. And on March 31st, one person died in an avalanche on Mount Currie near Pemberton. Officials say around 4 skiers were at the site when this slide occurred.

Gerald Cheng is a Weather Network Meteorologist. He says there are three major reasons for an avalanche:

  • Episode of a heavy snowfall
  • Any sort of thawing or rain
  • Triggered by movement above the snow such as a skier and a snowmobile.
    • A typical slide has a mass of 1,000 tonnes and can bury and destroy a car and a small building.

      “We hope that people, when they partake in these types of activities that they go out there with the proper equipment,” says Moskaluk.

      Two weeks ago, the Canadian Avalanche Association announced that next winter, a new warning system will be launched across North America. The new system will use text, pictures and colour coding to detect danger zones and warn of possible avalanches.

      Although this season has seen a few avalanche fatalities, it hasn't been as deadly as the 2008/2009 season. 26 people were killed in slides last winter, and most of them were snowmobilers.

      For the latest details on this story, tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your newscast comes up at :12 and :42 past every hour.

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