One person has died in an avalanche that caught two snowmobilers over the weekend south of Valemount, B.C., not far from the Alberta boundary.
Avalanche Canada says the snowmobilers were riding at the base of a slope in a feature known as Bowl 3 in the Oasis area when the avalanche happened on Saturday.
“One person managed to ride away from the avalanche, while the other was fully buried. The survivor was able to locate the buried victim but they were found to be unresponsive,” the avalanche forecaster said in a statement.
RCMP Cpl. Alex Berube says the investigation is being taken over by the BC Coroners Service.
Following reports of the avalanche, Avalanche Canada warned the snowpack in the region seems to be “particularly volatile” at this time.
“Stay well back from steep slopes and avoid any terrain where the consequences of an avalanche may be severe,” it said.
“Choose conservative terrain, especially if you’re choosing to venture out of well-ridden areas.”
This is the third avalanche-related death this month in the province.
On Jan. 9, two Nelson Police Service officers were caught in an avalanche near Kaslo, B.C., while skiing off duty.
Const. Wade Tittemore died that day and Const. Mathieu Nolet died of his injuries in hospital on Saturday.
Forecasters have warned that this year’s snowpack isn’t like previous years and the higher risk is only seen once every decade or two. They’ve said lengthy periods of drought and cold weather has created numerous problematic layers in the snowpack in many areas of the province.