Chilcotin Avalanche Deaths
Avalanche Canada is reporting another unfortunate backcountry skier avalanche tragedy, this one in the Chilcotin region on Potato Peak.
According to Avalanche Canada, the two skiers accessed the east-facing slope of Potato Peak on snowmobiles and were skiing when they were fully buried by the avalanche.
The skiers were reported overdue and a search crew recovered their bodies. Their identities have not been made public.
The avalanche has been categorized as a “Size 2, deep persistent slab.”
“The slope was characterized as highly wind-affected, containing areas of deeply wind-drifted snow and areas where the snow cover was thin and rocky,” said Avalanche Canada. “The crown depth was reported to be highly variable, between 40 and 130 cm.”
The Avalanche Canada MIN report:
“Two skiers were caught in an avalanche on an east-facing slope on Potato Peak, approximately 40 km south of Tatla Lake. The skiers had accessed the area using snowmobiles, but were skiing at the time of the accident. Both victims were fully buried and did not survive. Search and Rescue were notified when the victims were reported overdue. The victims were located and recovered from the accident location.
The avalanche ran on a layer of facets approximately 30-40 cm up from the base of the snowpack. The slope was characterized as highly wind-affected, containing areas of deeply wind-drifted snow and areas where the snow cover was thin and rocky. The crown depth was reported to be highly variable, between 40 and 130 cm.”
The Chilcotin region of British Columbia is a plateau and mountain region in the inland lee of the Coast Mountains on the west side of the Fraser River. Tyax Lodge & Heliskiing is located in the South Chilcotin Mountains and offers nearly one million acres of terrain, over 375 mapped runs, and an average annual snowfall of 5 to 25 metres. The Lodge is also well known for mountain bike adventures.
Photo: MIN report