VANCOUVER – Five people have been killed in British Columbia avalanches this month. Forecasters have compared this season’s snowpack with the conditions of 2003, one of the worst years on record for fatalities.
Here is a timeline of avalanche events this season:
Jan. 5: Avalanche Canada warns of a touchy snowpack, with various weak layers created by long periods of drought and cold weather. “Riders have triggered large, scary avalanches with high consequences,” the advisory says.
Jan. 9: Two off-duty police officers are caught up in an avalanche near Kaslo, B.C., while backcountry skiing. Nelson Police Service Const. Wade Tittemore, 43, dies and Const. Mathieu Nolet, 28, sustains severe internal injuries.
Jan. 21: Nolet dies of his injuries in hospital.
Jan. 21: Two snowmobilers riding at the base of a slope near Valemount, B.C., accidentally trigger an avalanche from above, sending a slab of snow onto one rider while the other escapes. The buried rider is found unresponsive and dies.
Jan. 23: Heli-skiers and their guide are caught in an avalanche near Revelstoke, B.C. The two guests are dug out of the snow unresponsive and are both declared dead in hospital. The guide is taken to hospital in stable condition.
Jan. 23: A slide comes down on a one person near Cherryville, B.C. Emergency health services says the person is taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2023.