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Snowmobiler killed after getting trapped in avalanche in B.C.’s Nicola Valley

Snowmobiler dies after getting caught in an avalanche in Nicola Valley
Two people snowmobiling near Merritt got caught in an avalanche in the B.C. backcountry. One of them was trapped in the snow but was found dead. Jordan Armstrong reports.

One person is dead after getting trapped in an avalanche in the backcountry of B.C.’s Nicola Valley, RCMP confirmed Saturday.

Merritt RCMP said they were alerted around 12:40 p.m., to the avalanche between Cabin Lake and Prospect Creek.

RCMP said the alert came from a man who was trying to find his friend, after the pair were snowmobiling together in the area and got trapped.

READ MORE: Rare ‘extreme’ avalanche warning issued for B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky region

Search and rescue crews were deployed and located the missing man later in the afternoon, but RCMP say he did not survive the avalanche.

“The BC Coroners Service has been notified and is now investigating the man’s sudden death,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said in a statement.

The man’s identity has not been released.

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Cabin Lake lies roughly 56 kilometres southwest of Merritt.

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

The region is currently under a high avalanche risk, according to Avalanche Canada, but the agency did not yet have information about the incident.

Heavy snow and wildly shifting temperatures have created an unstable snowpack across much of the South Coast stretching inland into the Nicola and Fraser Valleys, as well as in the Sea-to-Sky region.

People are being urged to stay out of the backcountry or use extra caution in the area, and to be on alert for shifting conditions.

Avalanche risk remain high
Avalanche risk remain high