Two people climbing a mountain in Jasper National Park survived being swept up in an avalanche on Wednesday, Parks Canada Visitor Safety said.
The pair was roped together climbing the Silverhorn route on Mount Athabasca when they were hit and sent about 600 metres down the mountain at about 10:30 a.m., according to the guides who reported the avalanche.
One of the climbers was partially buried with a head and an arm exposed. One of the climbers suffered a broken foot, said a family friend who did not want to be identified.
The pair was transported to the Jasper hospital by helicopter.
The mountain guides who reported the avalanche also noted that the climbers were carrying an avalanche kit that was used to dig the buried climber free.
“Avalanches can happen pretty much any time of year in avalanche terrain,” said Peter Tucker, executive director of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
“It’s not always in the winter. So it’s really important that climbers and skiers ensure that they have probes, shovels and beacons with them doing any kind of activity where there is a potential for an avalanche to occur.”
The report said that early season snowfall and moderate winds have created conditions favourable for avalanches in some parts of the mountains.