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Fatal slide near Golden brings B.C.’s 2023 avalanche death toll to 9

Click to play video: 'Experts continue to warn about avalanche risk in B.C. after death toll rises'
Experts continue to warn about avalanche risk in B.C. after death toll rises
WATCH: A fatal slide near Golden and a second deadly avalanche in the province this week brings 2023 avalanche death toll to 9 -- with experts continuing to advise extreme caution for those planning to head into the mountains this long weekend – Feb 17, 2023

A second deadly avalanche in under a week in British Columbia has claimed two lives, Avalanche Canada said Thursday.

The slide took place in an area known as Terminator 2.5, outside of a ski area boundary near Golden, B.C., and involved a group of five snowboarders and one skier the agency said in an incident report.

“The avalanche was triggered by the group and four members of the group were involved. Three members of the group were buried by the avalanche, one partially and two completely,” Avalanche Canada said.

“The partially buried victim was extracted and had sustained injuries. The two fully buried victims did not survive.”

Avalanche Canada said a second group of snowboarders was downslope when the slide was triggered and were affected by it but not injured.

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Photo showing the upper portion of the avalanche including the crown. Avalanche Canada
Overview of the entire avalanche path. Photos from Golden and District Search and Rescue. Avalanche Canada

 

Alberta-based STARS air ambulance said it was called to rendezvous with the BC Ambulance Service at the airport near Golden Thursday afternoon. No patients were transported.

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No details on where the victims are from were available Thursday night. The Golden area is a popular destination for backcountry enthusiasts from both B.C. and Alberta.

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Avalanche Canada warned the snowpack in the province’s interior remains “incredibly complex and difficult to manage.”

Click to play video: 'Two skiers die in avalanche in remote B.C. mountain range'
Two skiers die in avalanche in remote B.C. mountain range

“Deep persistent slab problems may exhibit no signs of instability before a large avalanche occurs. They’re most likely to be triggered on steep and rocky slopes where the snow cover is thin or variable,” the organization said.

“Choosing low-risk terrain and maintaining good travel habits, including having one person on a slope at a time and avoiding slopes where other groups are riding, is especially important with a dangerous snowpack.”

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The tragedy comes just days after two skiers, one of them a volunteer with the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue group, were killed in an avalanche in the Potato Peak area, about 200 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.

Thursday’s incident brings the death toll from Avalanches this year to nine, tying the 2020-2021 season as the deadliest in the last seven years.

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