December 22, 2013 - 10:40 AM
FAMILY WON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR RESCUE AND RECOVERY EFFORT
GOLDEN, B.C. - A 29-year-old snowboarder from Alberta has died following an avalanche near Golden.
Mounties say they received a call Friday from Alex Lee who was with the his friend Shane Schroeder at the time of the avalanche, which happened in an out-of-bounds area near the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
The Lee, who called for help, escaped unharmed.
RCMP and search-and-rescue teams responded and airlifted the Schroeder to hospital in Golden.
He was pronounced dead the same day and the coroner is investigating.
Schroeder is described as an avid snowboarder who lived for his time in the mountains. According to the Calgary Herald, Schroeder was an electrician from Edmonton.
A Facebook memorial has been created. Lee wrote on the page, "Yesterday (Friday) was probably the hardest day in my life. I was with Shane when the avi (avalanche) occurred but was helpless to do anything."
"Everybody needs to know that he saved my life."
Lee said he called for help and is trying to raise money to pay for the rescue. He feels it could be upwards of $30,000 dollars because there were helicopters and rescue dogs involved.
Ben Tanasichuk with Golden Search and Rescue tells Infotel News there is absolutely no cost associated with the rescue and recovery spearheaded by his organization.
People, mistakenly thinking the family will be in tough financial straits due to the cost of the rescue, are donating money in droves.
“There’ll be zero cost," Tanasichuk says.
He’s sent the Shane Schroeder Memorial Facebook page a message informing them that the family of the victim will not be getting an invoice.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre's website lists the danger level in the Purcell Mountains as considerable in alpine areas, meaning human-triggered avalanches are likely.
- This story was edited at 10:38 a.m., Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 to add comments from search officials.
- This story was edited at 9:33 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 to add the victim's identity and add comments from Facebook.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2013