Parks Canada responded to an avalanche that involved three people in the Canadian Rockies, the names of the survivors have not been released. Meanwhile, search and rescue workers are currently waiting for the right conditions to resume a recovery mission for climbers David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and Jess Roskelley who are presumed dead.
UPDATED: The critically injured skier has died in the hospital. More here.
STARS Air Ambulance took one male skier to a Calgary hospital following the avalanche on Des Poilus Glacier on the Wapta Icefield in Yoho National Park. A spokeswoman for STARS says the male was in critical condition, and there’s no word on the other two people involved.
Parks Canada spokesperson Chelsey Dawes said there’s no information on the avalanche. Parks Canada issued an avalanche bulletin on Friday for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. There were a number of avalanches over the past few days.
“A significant avalanche cycle is underway. Conservative terrain selection Saturday is essential. Avoiding avalanche terrain would be wise,” the bulletin read.
Mountain guide Mark Klassen posted on the public mountain conditions report page: We drove through Kootenay National Park this morning and saw numerous large avalanches that looked like had initiated during the rain event yesterday.
Along the divide at high elevations there were numerous slabs on fans below cliffs and in gullies, size 2-3. Most had been triggered by loose snow avalanches initiating higher up, or by cornice falls. Many of the slabs were initiating low on the slope. At lower elevations there has been a loose wet avalanche cycle with about 80% of avalanche terrain in the burnt forest having run to size 3.
Two weeks ago, professional skier Dave Treadway died in a crevasse fall while skiing near Permberton in B.C. And last week, David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and Jess Roskelley, three of the world’s best alpine climbers, were caught in an avalanche on the north side of Howse Peak and are presumed dead.
It’s been a difficult season in the mountain community. Be safe, make good decisions and remember that search and rescue workers will have to put themselves in dangerous areas if you need a rescue. Consider others when risking it in the mountains.