Alberta man survives brush with avalanche in Elk Valley

An avalanche near Sparwood buried one man on Sunday; he was recovered alive

  • Jan. 6, 2014 9:00 a.m.

Townsman Staff

An Alberta man survived a close call with an avalanche over the weekend near Sparwood B.C.

Elk Valley RCMP were notified about an avalanche just after 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 5, near the Teck Coal Mountain mine. The mine is south-east of Sparwood.

Police were advised that a group of five skiers were in the backcountry area near the Coal Mountain Teck mine when they triggered an avalanche. The avalanche reportedly buried one of the skiers. The other skiers were able to locate and rescue the male who was found alive but suffered a broken arm, bruises and the effects of hypothermia.

Sparwood Search and Rescue was activated and the local police dog services team were advised. Police said that while the search team was enroute to the scene, the injured skier was brought down the mountain by snowmobilers who were in the area.

The man, from Lethbridge, was then transported to the Fernie Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and expected to make a full recovery.

RCMP are cautioning those who are exploring the backcountry to be prepared.

They advise people to check avalanche conditions in the area you plan on visiting. Police said if there is a high risk go to another area that is a lower risk. People should plan and be prepared by bringing along an avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, warm clothing, survival kit, first aid kit and basic tool kit. And of course leave an itinerary with someone and don’t go alone.