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Three skiers rescued after avalanche

Three backcountry skiers caught in an avalanche that left one injured near Hope had to be airlifted to safety Saturday.

Hope Search and Rescue was alerted to the incident at around 1 p.m. and called crews from Chilliwack in shortly after.

The teams used a helicopter to transport the skiers after they were hit by an avalanche on Needle Peak.

All three skiers were rescued safely but one suffered injuries from being slammed against a tree and had to be taken to hospital, according to Chilliwack SAR spokesman Doug Fraser.

“He had some facial injuries, a broken cheekbone, broken nose. No life-threatening injuries, fortunately,” he said.

Avalanche danger for the Coquihalla area was rated high Saturday by the Canadian Avalanche Centre, and Fraser said it wasn’t an ideal time for backcountry skiing.

He advised skiers to check the daily bulleting from the CAC and to always look at the day’s weather forecast.

“We were very fortunate yesterday that the weather did cooperate, we could actually fly in and conduct the long-line rescue,” he said. “But within about an hour of having that completed, the weather closed right in, and had that happened earlier, there’s no way we could’ve done the helicopter rescue.”

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