Backcountry Skier Killed in Avalanche Near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

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Avalanche Canada,
Credit: Avalanche Canada

A skier was killed in an avalanche on Haddo Peak, near Lake Louise, Alta yesterday morning. Two skiers were caught, but one managed to self-rescue and dig out the other. Unfortunately, the skier had already succumbed to their injuries.

Parks Canada responded to an avalanche involving two skiers on the northeast face of the 10,072-foot mountain in Banff National Park at 9:26 am on Monday morning.

A party of two people were ski touring up the NE face of Haddo Peak. At 08:55 a.m. they triggered a size 2 avalanche, which released at an elevation of 2950 metres on an east facing, shallow snowpack area and appears to have failed near the ground either on a sun crust or on basal facets. The avalanche was approximately 40 metres wide and the fracture line was 40-60 centimetres deep.

Both members of the party were caught in the avalanche, but one managed to arrest themselves and escape the flow. The second member of the party was carried 600 metres through extreme terrain. The survivor was able to descend, locate and then extricate their partner, who unfortunately was deceased.

This report is based on preliminary information and will be updated if more data becomes available.

– Avalanche Canada preliminary report

The size two slab avalanche was triggered on an east-facing, shallow part of the snowpack. It was about 130-feet wide with a 16-24″ crown and carried the skier 2,000-feet over extreme terrain. Avalanche conditions were listed as moderate at the time.

Parks Canada said it’s important for backcountry users to pay attention to the direction the terrain faces to understand how the sun can impact the snowpack.

The fatality is the tenth of the season in Canada and the 47th in North America.

avalanche, Haddo, alberta, banff national park,
Mount Haddo, Alberta

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