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1 dead in avalanche near Revelstoke, B.C.

Avalanche forecasters are comparing this year's dangerous season to the winter of 2002-03, when the deaths of 29 people led the creation of Avalanche Canada. Avalanche forecasters are comparing this year's dangerous season to the winter of 2002-03, when the deaths of 29 people led the creation of Avalanche Canada.
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One person died after an avalanche near Revelstoke, B.C., on Sunday, according to Avalanche Canada – which has extended its warning about dangerous conditions in the backcountry.

"Over the weekend, there were numerous natural, accidental, and remote triggered avalanches reported, sadly including a fatal accident near Revelstoke. It's essential to maintain conservative terrain choices until conditions improve," the agency said in an online update.

The fatal incident happened on Sale Mountain where a snowbiker was buried by a size 2 avalanche, according to the agency. The people riding with him dug him out and passing snowmobilers stopped to assist with the rescue effort which included CPR. 

An incident summary also says that while attempts were being made to save the snowbiker, a second avalanche was triggered, burying the snowmobiles.

The victim was a 58-year-old man from Alberta, according to a statement from the RCMP, which says he was transported to hospital by helicopter but pronounced deceased on arrival.

"We give our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends. We would like thank all those, including search and rescue, for assisting," a spokesperson for the Revelstoke RCMP detachment said.

A Special Public Avalanche Warning has been extended through March 7.

"Recent storms have deposited a significant amount of snow across Western Canada. This new snow sits on prominent weak layers established during drought conditions in February. In some areas, there is more than one weak layer," Avalanche Canada's warning says.

"Recreationists should not underestimate the instability of these weak layers or their potential to produce large avalanches," it continues.

Sunday's death is the third avalanche-related fatality this year.

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