Avalanche kills three snowmobilers

  • Feb. 20, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Three snowmobilers have been killed and another injured in an avalanche north of Golden in the Hope River mount Gerald area.

Golden RCMP say a group of four snowmobilers—two fathers and two sons—from Halkirk, Alberta were buried in an avalanche around 4:50 pm on Saturday, February 19th. A report of a spot GPS beacon emergency activation alerted the RCMP who in turn immediately activated Golden Search and Rescue.

“Witness statements have confirmed that the avalanche appears to have been human triggered when two of the four men were high-marking and the other two men were observing at the bottom of the slope,” said RCMP spokesperson Dan Moskaluk. “The slide buried these four males.”

A second group of snowmobilers in the vicinity witnessed the slide and responded immediately, digging the buried men from under the slide and bringing them to the surface. One of the males was resuscitated but efforts to revive the other three was unsuccessful.

Two fathers, aged 48 and 50, and one of the sons, in his 20s were killed. The surviving son, also in his 20s, was taken to the Golden hospital for treatment of minor injures and shock symptoms. Identities of the males are being withheld to protect next of kin.

The incident was the second avalanche that Golden Search & Rescue responded to on February 19th. Earlier in the afternoon a backcountry skier reported an avalanche on Repeater Peak. Searchers were transported to the scene and found that nobody was injured in the incident.