Skier Killed After British Columbia Avalanche; Third Skier Dead From Avalanche This Year

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A helicopter searches a mountain area where an avalanche is reported, in Kafjord
A helicopter searches a mountain area where an avalanche is reported, in Kafjord March 19, 2012. Norwegian police have said five people have been killed and one hospitalized.

Canadian police said that a skier was killed on Friday after an avalanche stranded a ski party in an off-limits area of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia.

Two other skiers were rescued by members of their party, according to Reuters, while a search mission was scheduled for Saturday to recover the body of the third victim. The gender of the deceased was not released, although initial reports indicated the skier was among a group of five or six men who ventured out together Friday morning.

Just before the avalanche in question proved fatal, Canadian weather officials issued a “high” avalanche warning for British Columbia. The increased alert was necessitated by a high snowfall, according to the Canadian Avalanche Center, the CBC reported.

“We’re also worried about a deeper weak layer that’s buried in the snow pack,” said forecaster James Foyer. “That might increase the expected size of avalanche activity, for one, and secondly it might prolong the length of dangers after the storm.”

Friday’s death is the third caused by a B.C. avalanche so far in 2013. Earlier this week a party of German skiers was trapped by an avalanche on Jumbo Glacier in the southeastern region of the province. Two were saved while the third, whose name was not released, perished.

“The 10-year average in Canada is 14 deaths from avalanches every year,” said Mary Clayton, a spokesperson for the Canadian Avalanche Center. “The last three years have been under that and this year there are only two so far. But winter's not over yet.”

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