B.C. avalanche claims life of U.S. snowboarder
TERRACE, B.C. - An American snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche in northwestern B.C. Thursday has died from his injuries.
The Washington state resident, 39, and his son were caught in the slide while heli-skiing at 4,500 feet on Alice Mountain, 15 kilometres northwest of Terrace.
The man was dug out in about 10 minutes and taken to hospital where was listed in critical condition Thursday night.
His 19-year-old son was partially buried but was not injured. Two other people were able to ski out of the avalanche to safety.
The victim was upgraded to stable condition Friday, and was transferred to a Washington state medical facility.
Terrace RCMP were notified by the King County Medical Examiners Office Saturday that he died as a result of injuries sustained during the avalanche.
At the request of the family, his name is not being released.
A deadly winter
Avalanches in B.C. have killed 11 people in just over two weeks, including eight snowmobilers near Fernie.
Two other people, a skier and a snowboarder, were killed in slides in the Whistler area.
The deaths in the B.C. backcountry over the holidays serve as a stark reminder of the risks of enjoying Western Canada's vast and stunning outdoors.
With the risk of more avalanches high, ski resorts are scrambling to keep people inside their boundaries.
The province is pondering fines for those who jump the ropes and venture out of bounds.
B.C.'s minister of public safety, John van Dongen, says 65 per cent of all avalanche fatalities occur in British Columbia.
"That percentage is made very real when you look at statistics that show each and every year, on average, 14 people across Canada die in avalanches and that's why we need to continue to make the public aware of avalanche risks and how to avoid and mitigate those risks," he said.
With files from The Canadian Press