5 snowmobilers were killed in a large avalanche near McBride, B.C. yesterday, according to Donita Cuzma of the British Columbia Coroners Service. It’s being reported that all of the deceased were from Alberta and between the ages of 40 and 55. The avalanche occurred on the flanks of Mt. Renshaw.
Donita also reported that two groups of snowmobilers were involved in the avalanche and that 6 people were rescued from the avalanche by search and rescue personnel. One person was reportedly taken to the hospital with a dislocated knee.
The avalanche occurred at around 1:30pm on Friday and was reported by a member of a search and rescue team who was snowmobiling in the area. The avalanche is reported to have been large at 2,300-feet wide and ran for 2,500-feet.
The area where the avalanche took place is an designated snowmobiling area.
Avalanche danger was rated at “Considerable” (3 out of 5) which is the rating that most people die under.
“Avalanche Canada has received a report of what is described as a very large, significant avalanche event near McBride in the North Rockies. There are layers of concern in the snowpack in many parts of this region (and others) and a fairly significant weather event added rain and snow to the snowpack over the last few days followed by clearing and cooling today.” – Avalanche Canada, yesterday
Avalanche Canada is reporting that this was a human triggered avalanche.