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Posted: January 14, 2019

One dead, another missing following avalanche

Avalanche Canada is reporting that one person is dead and another is missing following a large avalanche on Mount Brewer on Saturday, Jan. 12, southwest of Invermere.

“A group of snowmobilers were on or near slopes on the south/southeast side of Mount Brewer in the Purcell Mountains. Two were caught in a very large ‘Deep Persistent Slab’ avalanche 200-400m wide that ran 900-1,100m onto a small lake,” Avalanche Canada reported on its website.

“The avalanche failed near the ground on a layer of facets/depth hoar (sugary grains) that formed early in the season, then broke to the ground lower down on the slope. One deceased with an activated airbag was recovered from a two metre deep burial. The second person caught in the avalanche is still missing at the time of this report but a transceiver signal was located on the lake where debris is floating on the water. Recovery efforts are ongoing,” Avalanche Canada said.

Mount Brewer is located about six km south of Panorama Mountain Resort.

Emergency response officials are anticipated to release more details later today. It is not known at this time where the snowmobilers are from.

Lead image: Columbia Valley Search and Rescue efforts were aided by RK Heli-Ski based at Panorama. Images courtesy Columbia Valley Search and Rescue and Kimberley RCMP

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