Three skiers buried in avalanche southwest of Smithers

RCMP have said that three out of four skiers were buried after an avalanche was triggered near the Burnie Glacier, 30 miles southwest of Smithers, at 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 26.

  • Mar. 2, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The RCMP have said that three out of four skiers were buried after an avalanche was triggered near the Burnie Glacier, 30 miles southwest of Smithers, at 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 26.

To correct earlier reports, it was not a heliskiing incident. It was a non-guided recreational ski touring group based at a commercial hut.

The fourth skier dug out a 64-year-old male, who sustained minor injuries. These two skiers then dug out a 52-year-old female, who was found deceased.

A third male has yet to be located and is believed to be buried.

The Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue attended the scene, however due to the late hour and unstable conditions they were unable to conduct a recovery or begin a search for the missing skier. SAR have four technicians near the avalanche site and will be joined this morning by Smithers RCMP, more technicians and a trained avalanche dog. The area has to be made safe prior to a search being conducted.

The two victims are from Regina, Saskatchewan and Canmore, Alberta. Next of kin have been notified however the RCMP are not releasing the names of the victims at this time.