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BC avalanche claims life of backcountry skier


An avalanche has claimed the life of another backcountry skier in BC
An avalanche has claimed the life of another backcountry skier in BC

Rachel Schoutsen, staff writer

January 7, 2012 — B.C avalanche left one American backcountry skier dead on Friday.

The avalanche risk across the BC backcountry is considerable
The avalanche risk across the BC backcountry is considerable

B.C has seen the death of a fourth backcountry skier – and it’s only the start of January.

On Friday afternoon an avalanche struck Molars Bowl near Golden. An American ski party was caught in the mass amounts of snow.

Golden search and rescue was called to the scene and pulled one male backcountry skier out from the chilling snow.

The rescue team performed CPR before seeking more help.

RCMP Sgt. Troy Durand says search and rescue officials air lifted the man to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation is ongoing.

Backcountry skiing is exhilarating -- but dangerous
Backcountry skiing is exhilarating -- but dangerous

While skiing in the backcountry is exhilarating, this type of outdoor fun may be tempting fate.

Backcountry skiing is done in a non-maintained, rural region, usually unmarked and not patrolled.

“These gully areas that are just icy, if you're on a snowboard or skis, you're going to just rocket. So we've been putting the message out that these types of falls are usually fatal,” says Tim Jones, a member of the North Shore Rescue Team.

Backcountry skiing alone is risky; adding a potential avalanche into the equation only increases the danger.

The recent mild temperatures in B.C have increased the avalanche risk by causing weaker bonds between the layers of snow.

Before skiing in the backcountry or on patrolled ski hills, check The Weather Network for information on avalanche risks.

With files from the Canadian Press

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