GOLDEN, B.C. – One snowmobiler was killed and another was injured in an avalanche near Golden, B.C. on Saturday.
Golden-Field RCMP said two other men were uninjured when the avalanche struck the four riders in the Quartz Creek area west of the community.
Ilya Storm, Avalanche Canada forecast program supervisor, said Monday it was a “size three” avalanche that was triggered by the people involved in the incident.
Golden and District Search and Rescue flew into the area by helicopter after police were notified just after 12 p.m. MT that an emergency GPS beacon had been activated.
Police said a 30-year-old Calgary man died in the avalanche and a 40-year-old man from Winnipeg was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. RCMP said the man from Winnipeg had been released from hospital as of Monday afternoon.
The two other riders were also from Calgary. Friends have identified the deceased as Nick Roberts, a mechanic with the Calgary Fire Department (CFD).
“We in the Calgary Fire Department are very saddened by the sudden loss of our colleague, apparatus technician Nick Roberts,” the CFD said in a statement. “He was a very valued member of our fire department family since joining our organization in 2013. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
The BC Coroners Service said Roberts was found and dug out by the members in his group, but they were unable to resuscitate him.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate his death.
The incident came a day after Avalanche Canada issued an avalanche warning as potentially deadly snow conditions develop on slopes across parts of eastern and southeastern British Columbia.
The warning was in effect through to Monday in the North and South Columbia regions, the Purcell Mountains and the Kootenay Boundary.
“Recent new snow and wind have deposited up to a metre of new snow across these regions that overlays a weak layer,” Avalanche Canada forecasting supervisor James Floyer said in the warning.
He said this layer has fail a “number of times” over the past few days, resulting in some close calls.
“Our concern is that as the sun comes out this weekend, this weak layer will become more easily triggered. And with the amount of snow that’s on top of it we could be seeing some very large and dangerous avalanches.”
Glacier National Park has issued a similar warning for backcountry users in that region east of Revelstoke.
Saturday’s avalanche follows another in B.C. almost a month ago in which five snowmobilers were killed.
The five victims, all men from Alberta ranging in age from their early 40s to early 60s, died Jan. 29 near McBride, B.C.
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With files from Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press