Revelstoke (BC), Canada – A German national died on Monday when an avalanche struck his helicopter skiing party in the north Kootenays of British Columbia.
The unidentified 45-year-old man was a guest of Canadian Mountain Holidays at the CMH Adamants Lodge, located about 75 kilometers north of Revelstoke. The victim was buried under three meters of snow by an avalanche triggered from above at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday as the group of four guests and one guide waited for a helicopter pick-up in an area known as the Birthday Bowl. The force of the slide was strong enough to destroy mature trees, Revelstoke Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said. CMH officials indicate that three other guests and the guide were treated for minor injuries.
CMH officials added that the fracture line of the avalanche occurred at an elevation of approximately 2,550 meters on a slope with a westerly aspect. They say that the avalanche destroyed a 250 meter-wide area of mature timber that was directly above and sheltering the pickup location, which was at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters.
“At this time, our deepest sympathies are with the family of the victim. The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are like our family. It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that we feel and the sorrow that is shared by our guests, their families and all of our staff,” CMH officials said in a prepared statement.
The B.C. Coroners Service and the RCMP are investigating the incident.