Deadly day in the backcountry

An avalanche Sunday afternoon in the Lightning Strike Ski area trapped two backcountry skiers, killing one man.

An avalanche Sunday afternoon in the Lightning Strike Ski area trapped two backcountry skiers, killing one Nelson man.

Around 1 pm. the Salmo RCMP and Salmo Search and Rescue were dispatched to the top of the Kootenay pass after two of the four skiers got caught in an avalanche.

The other members of the party were able to find and rescue the two who had been hit. However, one skier was unresponsive when he was found, and was not able to be resuscitated.

A 27-year-old female and a 27-year-old man suffered severe injuries as a result of being caught in the avalanche.

Sadly, the man, Cale Jack from Nelson, passed away while on scene at the avalanche.

“The 27-year-old woman was removed from the scene and transported to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital with serious injuries,” said Salmo RCMP Cpl. R. Bellman.

All four skiers were from the Nelson area.

Search and rescue was able to make the area safe for a team to enter and recover the body of the man, Bellman said. A helicopter had also been used to assist search and rescue in the recovery.

On Wednesday the B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the identity of the man.

Jack was one of a group of four persons who went backcountry skiing in an area known as Twin Lakes near the summit of Kootenay Pass, about 37 kilometres east of Salmo.

The B.C. Coroners Service notes that a special public avalanche warning from the Canadian Avalanche Centre continues in effect, warning that weather and environmental conditions are leading to a high risk of avalanche throughout most of the mountainous regions of the province and urging all backcountry users to take extreme care, including checking the Canadian Avalanche Centre webpage (http://www.avalanche.ca) for current conditions in B.C.

 

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