Avalanche Canada extends warning after deadly slide hits snow bikers near Revelstoke

Fatal slide near Revelstoke

UPDATE 1:55 p.m.

The man who died in the slide on Sale Mountain Sunday was a 58-year-old from Alberta.

Revelstoke RCMP said that Revelstoke Search and Rescue was deployed to the scene of the avalanche and transported the man to Queen Victoria Hospital by helicopter. Despite life saving efforts he was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The BC Coroners Service has now assumed conduct for the investigation.

ORIGINAL 1:21 p.m.

A special public avalanche warning has been extended after a deadly weekend in the backcountry.

Two slides hit several snow bikers near Revelstoke on the weekend, leaving one man dead.

According to a post on the Avalanche Canada website, an avalanche came down on Sale Mountain, north of Revelstoke on Sunday, March 3. One of the riders was caught in the size two slide.

The other bikers he was with dug the man out quickly, while another group of people riding in the area came to help. Unfortunately, as they were performing CPR another slope released, causing a further slide and burying some of those in the second group.

One man was killed but few other details have been released.

Avalanche Canada says both of the avalanches released on a weak layer of facets over a crust which formed in early February.

The organization announced it is extending a special public avalanche warning issued late last week for most of B.C. and Alberta forest regions because of the continued dangerous conditions. It will now continue until the end of the day Thursday, March 7.

Over the weekend, there were numerous natural, accidental, and remote triggered avalanches including the ones on Sale Mountain.

Significant snowfall in recent days is now sitting on prominent weak layers that built up during drought conditions last month. As the storm system passes, avalanche activity is expected to slow, but human-triggered slides will still remain likely.

“Recreationists should not underestimate the instability of these weak layers or their potential to produce large avalanches,” says Avalanche Canada.

It notes that it is “essential to maintain conservative terrain choices until conditions improve.” It recommends sticking to lower angle slopes, avoiding overhead hazards and choosing smaller objective that minimize the consequences of an avalanche.

Backcountry users should always check the avalanche forecast. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the training to use it.

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