Fatal avalanche: Skier buried by snow, Pemberton RCMP say
Published Friday, January 4, 2019 2:42PM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 4, 2019 3:02PM PST
A skier has died after being buried by an avalanche near Pemberton, B.C., police say.
Mounties said they were told an emergency beacon had been activated in a backcountry area near Pebble Creek Thursday.
A group of skiers used their own beacons to locate the man trapped beneath the snow and dug to him, but he had already died.
The man has not been publicly identified, but Whistler RCMP told CTV News he was a 42-year-old from Squamish.
In a statement Friday, Whistler RCMP said the Pemberton Search and Rescue team had been contacted to assist in reaching the victim. However, due to weather conditions and flying restrictions, the group could not be reached until Friday morning.
Some of the skiers spent the night in a nearby cabin.
When rescuers were able to get to the scene, the skiers were flown back to Pemberton. Police and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating the death.
Officers said it appeared the group of skiers was experienced and properly equipped to be in the backcountry.
They issued a reminder to others thinking of heading to similar areas to carry proper equipment, be aware of local conditions and avalanche risk, and ensure someone is aware of the their location and plan.
News of the death came a day after rescuers further south warned the public of "extreme" danger due to avalanche.
North Shore Search and Rescue said conditions were so bad that their teams may not be able to reach those who get stuck.
Some chairlifts at B.C. ski hills, including about half of those at Whistler Blackcomb, were closed Thursday because of the conditions.
On Friday, Avalanche Canada rated the risk of avalanche for the Whistler area as "high" for alpine and treeline elevations.
"Heavy snowfall and high wind are producing touchy storm slabs. Give the snowpack time to stabilize," it advised.
Similar advisories were in effect for the South Coast.