The first avalanche fatality in Canada this season happened this past Saturday in British Columbia. The avalanche occurred in the Sinclair Mills, Torpy area of the Rocky Mountains.
The sad part is that Avalanche Canada had issued a “Special Public Avalanche Warning” last weekend that included the zone where the snowmobiler died.
“Someone was lost, and other than that can’t speak much more to incident. We just know that one person became involved in the avalanche and that person was the fatality.” – Dale Bull, search manager for Prince George Search and Rescue.
The victim was a snowmobiler with 5 other snowmobilers when he triggered the avalanche. He was carried about 500′ downhill and buried about 3 feet deep. The avalanche was about 600′ wide and 3′ deep.
The other people in the party were able to dig him up, but he had died from injuries sustained in the avalanche.
“Party of six was riding in a difficult-to-access part of the Torpy area that had seen little or no recent sled traffic. Victim was climbing a slope when he triggered the avalanche. Victim was carried approximately 150 m downslope and buried 90-100 cm below the surface. A rescue response was conducted by the other group members, but the victim succumbed to injuries sustained during the avalanche.” – Avalanche Canada
The USA, in contrast, has had 14 avalanche deaths so far this winter including 10 in 9 days this month.