German skier dies in avalanche in southeastern B.C., two friends survive
A photo of the B.C. backcountry is seen on an image on RK Heliski's website. (RK Heliski).
Published Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:45PM EST
INVERMERE, B.C. -- A 34-year-old German skier has died in an avalanche east of Jumbo Mountain in southeastern British Columbia.
RCMP say the man was unresponsive after he was recovered from beneath the snow by a heli guide and other skiers, and attempts to revive him at Invermere Hospital failed.
The man's name was not released.
Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac said Monday's avalanche raced down the mountain for about 300 metres.
One other skier was buried but others in the group were able to dig him and he suffered non-critical injuries, while another skier was partially buried.
The skiers -- all from Germany -- were on their sixth run Monday when the slide struck.
Shehovac said friends helped police notify the man's next of kin in Germany, and the coroner's service is now investigating.
The German man's death was the second in B.C. this season following an avalanche.
In October, a 50-year-old surveyor was engulfed while working at a minerals camp 50 kilometres outside Stewart, in northeastern B.C., near the Alaska border.
Another man was able to escape the slide and was not hurt.
Mary Clayton, spokeswoman for the Canadian Avalanche Centre, said a stable snowpack this year may be one of the factors in the fewer number of avalanche deaths this year.
"The 10-year average in Canada is 14 deaths from avalanches every year. The last three years has been under that and this year there are only two so far. But winter's not over yet."