Father and son killed in avalanche on the shores of Lake Louise

A Parks Canada spokesman says the avalanche risk was high in an area where a father and son were killed when snow rushed down the slope where they had gone to toboggan in Lake Louise, Alta.

LAKE LOUISE — A Parks Canada spokesman says the avalanche risk was high in an area where a father and son were killed when snow rushed down the slope where they had gone to toboggan in Lake Louise, Alta.

Banff National Park resource conservation manager Bill Hunt says RCMP requested the aid of Parks Canada Search and Rescue personnel to help look for the two on Saturday afternoon.

Hunt says a Parks Canada team found a partially buried toboggan in the avalanche debris/

It helped searchers locate the victims at the base of Mount Fairview on the shore of Lake Louise.

Mounties say the man, 33, and his son, 11, were from Montreal and may have been buried for almost a week.

Const. Phil Caza said the pair were reported missing Friday, but the last anyone recalled seeing them was on Sunday, March 9, when they rented the toboggan.

“We’re still working to see if any hotel staff came in contact with them, but it’s most likely it was the 9th,” Caza said.

Caza said the slope where the pair were located can be accessed by walking on the frozen lake. He said it can even be seen from the Chateau Lake Louise hotel.

He said that after searchers found the toboggan partially sticking out from the snow, dogs were used to pick up the scent of the missing father and son and their bodies were then dug out.

The avalanche and its debris, he explained, had landed on the frozen lake. Water then pushed onto the surface and soaked the snow, later freezing.

The names of the victims are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

“They were on holiday. It’s my understanding it’s break time now for schools in Montreal,” Caza said.

Hunt, meanwhile, noted the area where they were found is an “avalanche slope” and there are a number of avalanches in that area every year.

He said the avalanche hazard for that region of the park was rated as high, and it isn’t in an area where Parks Canada does avalanche control work.

Hunt said it’s believed they were not familiar with the area or the risk.

“In this case it would appear that we’re dealing with someone who just had no idea even to need to ask for the information,” Hunt said.

Parks Canada has taken efforts to make the avalanche risk known to visitors through additional signage, radio messages, and making avalanche forecasts available through hotels and equipment rental shops, Hunt said.

“That’s something we’ve struggled with for a long time now,” he added.

It’s been a bad weekend for snow slides.

A 36-year-old man from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan died of injuries he suffered Friday night in an avalanche near Blue River, B.C., about halfway between Kamloops and Jasper, Alta.

And a 38-year-old man from Calgary was critically injured Saturday when he and some fellow skiers triggered an avalanche in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

Bower Place gets okay to redevelop

Red Deer municipal planning commission approves plans

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month