Cornice failure triggered deadly avalanche on Eureka Mountain

Cornice failure in death

The man killed in an avalanche Monday on Eureka Mountain triggered a "cornice failure" when he walked to the edge of a ridge, Avalanche Canada says in a posting.

He was among a group of snowmobilers who rode to the upper reached of the mountain east of Horsefly.

The agency said the man on the ridge fell with the cornice, which triggered a slab avalanche in steep terrain.

The avalanche was estimated to be 50 metres wide and with a run length of 200-300 metres and a depth of up to 350 centimetres. The victim was buried by about 60 centimetres of snow.

A search and rescue team with the help of an avalanche technician carried out a recovery mission the following day.

"This report is based on preliminary information and will be updated if more data becomes available," Avalanche Canada says.

The Williams Lake Tribune has identified the victim as Ben Morhart, a captain with the Horsefly Volunteer Fire Department. He was 37 years old, according to Williams Lake RCMP, who also said search and rescue did detect a transponder.

In a posting on Facebook, the VFD described Morhart as "someone everyone looked up to."

"He was our Superman! He was an integral part of our department, he also helped countless people in our community and could always bring a smile to your face. Ben will be greatly missed."

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