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Avalanche kills 2 Alaskan snowboarders in remote northwestern B.C. park

Mount Fairweather in Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park. BC Parks

Two men have been killed in an avalanche in a remote area of northwestern British Columbia.

The BC Coroners Service said it was investigating the deaths of two men in their early 20s from Haines, Alaska.

The agency said the men were snowboarding with a third person when the avalanche occurred Monday afternoon in Tatshenshini-Alesk Provincial Park, about 160 kilometres south of Haines Junction, Yukon.

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James Minifie, Avalanche Canada’s lead avalanche field technician for the Yukon region, said dangerous conditions began shaping up in the area on Christmas Eve.

We started to see a number of storms roll through this area. That brought with it a lot of snow or precipitation and a lot of strong extreme winds and some warm temperatures,” he said.

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Click to play video: 'Avalanche risk remain high'
Avalanche risk remain high

“That’s typically a recipe for increased avalanche danger.”

Minifie said backcountry users in B.C.’s north should keep in mind that they’re operating in a very remote area, meaning communications are difficult and help can take longer to arrive.

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Anyone thinking of heading into the backcountry should have an avalanche plan, including some kind of satellite-enabled communication, along with avalanche training, he said.

With another pacific storm rolling into the province, Avalanche Canada is warning British Columbians that avalanche danger is high in most parts of the province.

That includes the northwest coast and northwest inland, the Sea-to-Sky region, the South Coast mountains and all mountain regions in and adjacent to the Rockies.

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— With files from Srushti Gangdev

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