Snowmobiler dies in Avalanche in BC April 06
A 41-year-old man is dead after a snowmobile outing with friends triggered an avalanche, burying him in snow for up to 20 minutes before friends were able to dig him out.
The Crossfield, Alta. man was highmarking – the practice of running a snowmobile up a steep slope as high as you can before U-turning and coming back down – in Bugaboo Provincial Park while three friends looked on early Monday evening.
According to RCMP, the deceased and one other member of their party were trained in avalanche survival and preparedness. All of them were wearing avalanche beacons.
"The deceased was located under approximately 3-4 feet of snow and it is estimated that he was under the snow for up to 20 minutes," RCMP said.
The area where the avalanche occurred is within the tourist area operated by Canadian Mountain Holiday, which offers, among other things, helicopter skiing adventures.
While the four men in question were not clients of CMH, the tourist organization knew they were in the area.
At the end of the day, before returning to base, one of their helicopters flew over the area to check on the four men.
"People on the ground were indicating by hand that they had an emergency," RCMP said. "The pilot and guide on board landed and provided immediate assistance."
A second helicopter with a physician and defibrillator were also called to the scene, but when the man was removed from the snow he displayed no signs of life.
He was flown to a hospital in Invermere – approximately 90 km away – where he was declared dead.
The name is being withheld until family have all been notified.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is about 100 kilometers from Revelstoke, where snowmobilers Shay Snortland and Kurtis Reynolds were killed in March in a similar avalanche accident.