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HomeWorld NewsCanada newsSnowmobiler from Alberta dead from avalanche near Valemount, B.C.

Snowmobiler from Alberta dead from avalanche near Valemount, B.C.

snowmobiler from alberta dead from avalanche near valemount b c

A man from Grande Prairie, Alberta, is dead after being caught in an avalanche south of Valemount, B.C. on Saturday, according to Avalanche Canada and RCMP. 

RCMP said two people, a driver and passenger, had been riding together on one snowmobile. Avalanche Canada said they were in what is known as Bowl 3 in the Allen Oasis Recreation Area, a managed snowmobiling riding area near Valemount, which is located in east central B.C. and is about a three hour drive southeast of Prince George.

Authorities said one person was able to ride away from the remote-triggered avalanche, but the other was buried by snow and avalanche debris. The survivor located the buried person, but found them unresponsive. 

“The driver was luckily not affected by the avalanche in itself and tried to conduct resuscitating efforts on the passenger. However, the passenger succumbed to his injuries,” said Cpl. Alex Bérubé with the RCMP. 

Remote-triggered avalanches are avalanches that occur away from the point where they are triggered. They happen when a slab fractures the weak layer below it but does not produce an avalanche at the site of the fracture, according to Avalanche Canada.

Bérubé says the individuals were approximately 100 metres from each other at the time of the avalanche. 

RCMP received the call at 11:20 a.m. PT on Saturday and responded alongside local search and rescue volunteers, but said the snow pack was too dangerous to recover the body. 

They hoped recover the body Sunday alongside Parks Canada, weather permitting. 

Bérubé said the B.C. Coroner’s Service has been notified and will take over the investigation. 

Avalanche Canada spokesperson Lisa Perazzoli wrote in a statement to CBC News there have been several other reports of human-triggered avalanches in nearby areas. 

On Saturday, a second police officer caught in a backcountry avalanche near Kaslo, B.C., earlier this month died of his injuries, the Nelson Police Department said.

Const. Mathieu Nolet, 28, was skiing with his colleague Wade Tittemore in a mountain pass 60 kilometres north of Nelson on Jan. 9, when the two were swept down the mountain in a large avalanche. Tittemore, 43, died of injuries on the scene.

Earlier in January, the forecaster warned that B.C.’s snowpack is unusually weak this season and could be be vulnerable to avalanches.

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