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Climbers Killed in Andromeda Avalanche Identified

Top mountain guide said the avalanche wasn't survivable

Photo by: Parks Canada of the avalanche

Andrew Abel, 30, and Nathaniel Johnson, 28, died after an avalanche on Mount Andromeda. The two were climbing Skyladder on May 30 when tragedy struck.

Deryl Kelly, Visitor Safety Specialist with Parks Canada, reported on the Mountain Information Network (MIN) that the avalanche was “Directly observed and reported immediately. Initial speculation is that the pair triggered the slide and were climbing, short roped together. Ski tracks unrelated.”

He said that the avalanche was a size 2.5, was 60 metres wide, 75 centimetres deep and ran for 900 metres.

Peter Tucker, executive-director of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, said in a press release that we’ll never know whether they were caught in the path of an avalanche, or somehow triggered it. He added that the slide “wasn’t survivable” and that “they were carried down a slope a very long way.”

He also said, “I just can’t imagine what it’s like to lose people that are so dear to them. Their (partners) are devastated.” Abel and Johnson were experienced climbers. A number of others were climbing on Andromeda and neighbouring Athabasca at the time of the avalanche.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help their partners “reorder” their lives. Tim Taylor said on the page, “These gentlemen had the answer, they climbed mountains because they knew together, we can do hard things. Together we are better.” Visit here.

This is a devastating blow to the climbing community. Our condolences to Abel and Johnson’s family and friends.

Abel in a photo by Johnson, and Johnson in a photo by Abel
Lead photo: Parks Canada of the avalanche