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HomeNewsBC's avalanche death toll climbs to 14 after incident near Invermere

BC’s avalanche death toll climbs to 14 after incident near Invermere

Avalanche Canada is warning that the danger of snow slides remains high this spring.

The organization reports an unidentified person was killed in an avalanche Saturday near Invermere, in southeastern B-C.

The victim was aboard a snowmobile caught in the slide.

Another rider managed to escape.

It’s the 14th avalanche death in B-C this season.

The Northern Rockies region has not been exempt from avalanche fatalities during the season.

In February, two skiers were caught on an east-facing slope on Potato Peak, approximately three hours west of Williams Lake, and later passed away.

Avalanche Canada noted the skiers had accessed the area using snowmobiles but were skiing at the time of the accident.

The avalanche ran on a layer of facets approximately 30-40 centimeters up from the base of the snowpack.

In January, a Grande Prairie man died following an avalanche south of Valemount.

The incident, which was three hours southeast of Prince George was first reported by Avalanche Canada in the Oasis riding area, on a north-northeast aspect at 2100 metres.

Forecaster, Simon Horton told Vista Radio at the end of March that while the current weather pattern has resulted in a low to moderate danger rating for the Northern Rockies region – there is a concern the steep, weak layers of snow in the backcountry will be problematic again, once the temperatures rise.

“With this current weather pattern, the avalanche danger has been relatively low. We have seen a decrease in reactivity in these weak layers that have been quite a problem but we are concerned that they will become a problem again once we see temperatures get above freezing in the alpine.”

“Generally, it’s safer in the morning when it’s cold than when it heats up and the avalanche danger increases – it’s more important about getting out of avalanche terrain during the heat of the day.”

Avalanche Canada’s forecasting season ends on April 25th but notes avalanches can occur at any time of the year, even in the summer.

Snowpack conditions in the backcountry are similar to those of 2002 and 2003 when 25 people were killed.

with files from Vista Radio newswire

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