One dead in avalanche west of Kimberley

Missing snowmobiler found deceased at Hell Roaring avalanche.

Kimberley Search and Rescue team members board a helicopter for another fly over the avalanche field on Sunday.

Kimberley Search and Rescue team members board a helicopter for another fly over the avalanche field on Sunday.

The snowmobiler caught in the avalanche at Hell Roaring has been found, deceased. Peter Reid from KSAR said he was located mid-afternoon on Sunday and recovery operations were underway.

Kimberley Search and Rescue and RCMP members were on the scene up the Hell Roaring Road, west of Kimberley, searching for a missing snowmobiler.

President of Kimberley Search and Rescue, Peter Reid, said that the call came in at about 3 p.m Saturday, reporting an avalanche in the popular backcountry ski area.

“There is one snowmobiler missing,” he said at noon Sunday. “Everyone else is accounted for.”

Reid says KSAR responded immediately when the call came in but their avalanche techs deemed the area too unstable to begin a ground search.

“They blasted it and the team withdrew,” Reid said. “The search began this morning (Sunday). We will do everything in our power to find this person — hopefully today.”

Reid says that this is the same area as an avalanche last year and one a couple of years ago that took the life of a local snowmobiler.

“It may not be the same exact slope, but it is the same area. It’s a popular backcountry skiing, snowmobiling area.”

He says that search dogs were on the scene and teams were coming in from Cranbrook, Sparwood, Elkford, Creston, Fernie, Golden and Invermere.

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