RCMP release new details on B.C.'s first avalanche fatality near Chetwynd
CHETWYND -- Chetwynd RCMP have given an update on an avalanche that killed a snowmobiler last Saturday.
The victim has now been identified as a 21-year-old man. Following a probe line search, they located the victim four feet under the surface of the avalanche location.
He was killed while out riding with two other men 12 kilometres west of Chetwynd.
The men were out sledding when one of their snowmobiles got stuck in the snowpack.
When trying to release the machine, a slide was triggered in a chute at treeline elevation that ran approximately 250 metres down a slope, sweeping all three men.
Avalanche gear being worn by two of the riders was able to be deployed, activating their airbags.
At the time, two of the men were buried but one was able to quickly dig himself out. The victim could not be immediately located.
Kris Clark of the BC RCMP said, “This is a tragic reminder to all outdoors enthusiasts of the dangers of the back country.”
Clark is reminding riders that when heading out, it is important to be equip with the right knowledge and gear to stay safe should they be faced with dangerous hazards.
Avalanche Canada has listed the avalanche danger in the B.C. Rockies as high.
“Dangerous avalanche conditions exist across almost all of our forecast regions-- as the warm stormy weather continues to destabilize the snowpack. In many areas, travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended,” said Avalanche Canada.
Chetwynd RCMP say they are continuing to support the BC Coroners Service in the investigation into the death.
This is first recorded avalanche fatality of the year in B.C., 14 people were killed by avalanches in the province last year.