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UPDATED: Man killed/woman injured after being caught in avalanche near Kootenay Pass

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
February 23rd, 2014

One man has been killed and one woman rescued from the scene of an avalanche in southeastern British Columbia.
 
Search manager Chris Armstrong says four skiers were trekking through a high, remote section of Kootenay Pass between Salmo and Creston early Sunday afternoon when two were hit by a slide that swept them over a cliff and into trees below.
 
Armstrong says two people skied out to the highway to call for help, while six others stayed behind to begin rescue efforts.
 
The woman was located, but fading light and poor conditions forced teams to move her to safety by snowmobile, a rescue Armstrong calls incredibly arduous and very physical.
 
The body of the man remains at the scene.
 
The Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a warning last week advising skiers, boarders and sledders to use extreme caution in the backcountry because as much as three metres of snow on top of a weak crust has created the potential for massive slides.

Previous story:

Nelson Search and Rescue and Salmo RCMP spent the night rescuing two people caught in an avalanche near Kootenay Pass Sunday afternoon.The two skiers were part of a party of four that got caught up in an avalanche three kilometers from Kootenay Pass, off Highway 3 at the summit of the Salmo/Creston Highway, on Ripple Ridge in Stagleap Provincial Park.

The other two skiers in the party called in emergency crews.

Initially SARS team was going to us a helicopter to assist in the rescue of the people caught in the avalanche near Ripple Ridge.

Unfortunately daylight became an issue for the helicopter along with the steep slope, forcing SARS team to ski into the area. The rescue team was then going to use snowmobiles to speed the process up of removing the injured skiers.

A base camp was set up at the Kootenay Pass Summit.

UPDATED: Weather hampers rescue of two people caught in avalanche near Kootenay Pass

Two people are believed to be seriously injured after being caught in an avalanche while backcountry skiing near Kootenay Pass.

The Nelson Daily sources said the avalanche occurred three kilometers from Kootenay Pass, off Highway 3 at the summit of the Salmo/Creston Highway, on Ripple Ridge in Stagleap Provincial Park.

The call came into Nelson Search and Rescue and RCMP at approximately 1:19 p.m. Sunday.

SARS crews were going to send in a helicopter to rescue the injured people but weather became too poor to reach the high mountain backcountry area.

Now more than a dozen search and rescue crew members are skiing into the Twin Lakes area zone late Sunday afternoon to try to retrieve the two injured people believed to be part of a larger party of backcountry enthusiasts.

Late last week the Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a public warning regarding the backcountry in BC.

Avalanche reported in backcountry near Kootenay Pass

The Nelson Daily has learned that Nelson Search and Rescue along with the RCMP are responding to an avalanche in the Kootenay Pass region.

The call came in at approximately 1:19 p.m.

It is believed the avalanche was triggered in a remote region only accessible by helicopter.

A hellicopter has been dispatched from Nelson with Nelson Search and Rescue personal to assess the avalanche scene.

It is unknown how many people were involved in the avalanche or if there are any injuries.

Late last week the Canadian Avalanche Centre issued a public warning regarding the backcountry in BC.

Two people are believed to be seriously hurt after they were caught in an avalanche in a popular backcountry ski area in the Kootenay Pass area, off B.C.’s Highway 3 between Salmo and Creston.

Nelson Search and Rescue leader Murray Springman said the weather is too poor to reach the high mountain backcountry area near Stagleap Provincial Park by helicopter.

Instead, between 12 and 16 search and rescue crew members will attempt to ski into the Twin Lakes area zone late Sunday afternoon, or early in the evening.

Springman said it is going to be a long night for the team, as they try to locate the two people and bring them out safely.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: General

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