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Avalanche kills snowmobiler near Valemount

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
January 19, 2014 - 10:57 AM

VALEMOUNT, B.C. – A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche about 30 km south of Valemount on Saturday.

The RCMP say the avalanche was triggered around 12:32 p.m. at Goat Ridge in the Clemina Creek area off Highway 5 about 3-and-a-half hours northeast of Kamloops.

Several SPOT distress beacons went off and GPS coordinates were transmitted to the RCMP from the Clemina Creek snowmobile area.

Search and rescue teams were deployed out of Valemount and McBride.

The RCMP tell us there were several snowmobilers in the avalanche area. A man was found buried and confirmed deceased at the scene.

Because the area has been declared extremely dangerous by avalanche technicians, emergency crews didn’t go into the area to recover the man’s body. The B.C. Coroner Service will go in once it’s safe.

The RCMP are warning outdoor enthusiasts to stay out of the area because of the high risk of more slides.

Last week, an avalanche came down on a piece of Highway 16 near Valemount. No one was hurt but the driver of a semi became stuck in the snow when he tried to drive though.

Going into the weekend, the Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a special warning for the public to use extreme caution in British Columbia's backcountry.

The centre's Karl Klassen said the main concern is warm, possibly record-breaking temperatures, which are destabilizing an already unstable snowpack.

The warning involves most regions in B.C., including the north and south coast, Sea to Sky, north and south Rockies, Cariboos, the Purcells, Kootenay-Boundary, and the north and south Columbias.

Klassen even went so far as to recommend that people with little or no avalanche training stay out of the terrain and that experienced backcountry enthusiasts keep away from steep slopes, especially when the sun is out.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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