More details are becoming available following an avalanche near Chetwynd Sunday afternoon.
14 snowmobilers were south west of Chetwynd when the unthinkable happened. At approximately 3:17pm Chetwynd time, an avalanche occured. A number of the snowmobilers in this group were covered in snow. Cst Craig Douglass with the RCMP says the group found one member of the group dead.
[asset|aid=784|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=3d032d8f592b9bd2a14cfcb3a810ac3c-Craig – dead left on mountain_1_Pub.mp3]
At this time the information the RCMP has is only eyewitness accounts as the RCMP have not even been able to access the area. The RCMP have called in an avalanche expert and once that person says the area is safe crews will try to go in and recover the body.
The RCMP will not provide any more information about the deceased until they have been able to recover the body and have notified next of kin. The Canadian Avalanche Centre does have this area rated as being at considerable risk of an avalanche.
This isnt’t the first time an avalanche has taken the life of snowmobiler in this area. On Dec 21, 1996, three Alberta snowmobilers were caught in a large avalanche in the Hasler Flats area. Two of the three managed to escape and digout but the other person was swept away by the snow. On February 13, 1994 another snowmobiler died while in the same area. This victim was again buried in snow following an avalanche. It took searchers over 3 hours to find this persons location.
This is a trail map from the Hasler area. The avalanche occured 25km from the staging area on this map.