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Avalanche fatality identifiedPosted: March 12, 2012

Avalanche risk remains high

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of the snowmobile operator who died in an avalanche southeast of Sparwood on March 9.

The deceased is Steven Burke Hall, aged 33, of Birchcliff, Alta.

Hall was one of a party of six snowmobilers riding in the South Corbin Road area on the afternoon of March 9. Three of the party had stopped for lunch. The other three, including Mr. Hall, were continuing uphill when an avalanche struck, explains a report issued by the Coroner’s Office today (March 12).

Three others were injured in the slide. About 90 minutes later, another avalanche buried two more people about 30 km south of Sparwood. They were rescued by Fernie Search and Rescue and also taken to hospital for treatment.

Investigation into the fatality case continues.

The BC Coroners Service expresses its sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Hall, and also our appreciation to the avalanche technicians, search-and-rescue teams and volunteers who worked so diligently on the rescue and recovery efforts.

The BC Coroners Service would also like to take this opportunity to encourage all users of B.C.’s back country to heed the recent avalanche warnings issued by the Canadian Avalanche Centre. The centre states that the risk of avalanches in much of B.C. is now high.

The warning includes the mountains of the South Coast Inland, the Columbia Mountains from near Prince George in the North to the U.S. border in the south, and B.C.’s South Rockies. The centre says local knowledge and a high degree of training and experience are required to travel safely in this risky terrain.

Another avalanche near Revelstoke claimed the life of a backcountry skier yesterday afternoon (March 11).

Revelstoke RCMP were called on Sunday afternoon at approximately 16:40 pm and advised that
there had been an avalanche in the Ghost Peak area south of Revelstoke, BC.  The slide broke and buried a back country skier.  The remaining members of the group were able to locate the male via a beacon search and were able to dig him out.

The male victims name is not being released at this time pending the notification of the next of kin.

Revelstoke RCMP would like to remind all back country users the importance of consulting with the CAA website ( ) for avalanche forecasts prior to traveling in the back country, to travel in a group, always ensure that you have appropriate emergency equipment and know how to use it.



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