NELSON, B.C. — A helicopter was dispatched Sunday afternoon to the site of an avalanche in B.C.’s Kootenay region, where one person was believed to be injured.
Murray Springman of Nelson Search and Rescue said his group was told seven or eight people were out in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, about 30 kilometres north of Nelson, when the avalanche struck.
“It was reported to us that there was an avalanche up at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park and there’s one subject injured,” Springman said in an interview.
“We have a helicopter that’s gone in to see if they can get the guy out. The problem is, it’s raining in town but up top it’s snowing the visibility is very poor.”
There were few details available about what exactly happened, and the nature of the injuries wasn’t clear.
A day earlier, two men were killed in an avalanche in Kananaskis Country, Alta. One of the men’s bodies was found Saturday, while the other was recovered Sunday in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, about 135 kilometres southwest of Calgary.
Also on Saturday, seven people were on a run at the Fernie Alpine Resort in southeastern B.C. when they were caught in an avalanche. None of them were buried, but a young skier suffered leg injuries.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre’s latest bulletin says the risk of slides is high throughout much of British Columbia, as well as the Alberta Rockies. The centre’s website says that rating forecasts “very dangerous avalanche conditions” and travel in avalanche terrain isn’t recommended.
Several highways in B.C. were closed Sunday due to the elevated avalanche risk.
During the 2009-2010 season, 12 people were killed in avalanches in Canada — all but one in B.C.
The year before that, 26 people died in avalanches, including eight snowmobilers who were killed in a slide near Fernie.