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Four Ice Climbers Survive Avalanche in Alberta (Update)

Four ice climbers survived an avalanche early Saturday afternoon on the route Kitty Hawk on David Thompson Highway in Alberta.

Update March 13: One injured climber was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He was climbing the mixed route left of Kitty Hawk called Unicorn M7. He had just rappelled to the base when the slide come from Kitty Hawk.

Mounties in Rocky Mountain House were notified of an emergency locator beacon signal coming from an area near the classic WI5 ice route on Mount Elliot on Highway 11 about 50 km southwest of Nordegg and 250 km northwest of Calgary.

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue’s mountain rescue team, along with local helicopters and STARS Air Ambulance, were dispatched to search for the mountaineers in an area RCMP spokesman Staff Sgt. John Spaans described as “remote.”

He said the four-person team managed to get back to the road where they met emergency crews.

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Treated at the scene by Nordegg EMS, one of the climbers was airlifted to hospital in Edmonton with non-life-threatening injuries.

Avalanche risks along the central portion of the eastern slopes are rated at moderate to considerable at sub-alpine altitudes, with conditions at and below the treeline rated as “dangerous.”

Kitty Hawk is a dangerous route to be on this time of year if the Avalanche rating is dangerous below treeline.

Play safe out there! Check avalanche conditions here.

You rock climber and spring hikers aren’t in the clear either. Here are some avalanche myths.

KItty Hawk