Warning ends Thursday as dangerous avalanche conditions persist in Alberta, B.C.

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Large swathes of rural Alberta and British Columbia remain at moderate to high avalanche risk, with a Special warning in effect until end of day Thursday..

Avalanche Canada’s special public warning for the region was expanded after one person died in a snowslide near Revelstoke over the weekend. The advisory limits have also been adjusted to match current conditions.

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The agency has no intention of extending the warning any further, an Avalanche Canada spokeswoman told Postmedia on Wednesday.

In addition to the fatal Revelstoke incident, other avalanches (natural, accidental and remotely triggered) have been reported over the past week, the agency said in a statement on its website.

“It is essential to maintain conservative terrain options until conditions improve,” Avalanche Canada said.

“Recent storms have deposited a significant amount of snow across Western Canada. This new snow sits on top of prominent weak layers established during drought conditions in February. In some areas there is more than one weak layer.”

A fatal avalanche occurred Sunday on Sale Mountain north of Revelstoke, when a member of a snowbiking group became trapped in the slide.

Members of the group and others nearby quickly pulled the man out of the snow, but while they were performing CPR, a second avalanche hit and buried some snowmobiles, Avalanche Canada said at the time.

Revelstoke RCMP confirmed that a 58-year-old man from Alberta was taken to hospital by helicopter but died from his injuries.

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Avalanche Canada says both slides were caused by snow deposited on weak layers formed in early February.

The previous weekend, a Lethbridge dentist was killed when his snowmobile became trapped in a snow slide at Castle Mountain Ski Resort in Castle Wildland Provincial Park.

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Equally dangerous conditions were recorded in the mountainous regions of the United States, where 10 avalanche deaths have occurred so far in 2024.

Two snowmobilers traveling in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, Washington, caused a slide last Friday in a bowl near Darland Mountain, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. The cyclist who did not survive was described as completely buried. The cyclist’s name was not released.

“Although we don’t know for sure, this avalanche likely missed weak, persistent layers of the snowpack,” the organization said, adding that many other areas are dealing with the same problem.

In Idaho, another motorcyclist was killed Friday in an avalanche in the southern Selkirk Mountains in the state’s panhandle region, according to a news release from Boundary County Emergency Management.

A friend snowmobiling in Idaho “barely escaped the avalanche on his snowmobile,” according to the news release. The snowmobiler went back to look for his friend, who was carrying an avalanche beacon, and found him dead under the snow.

Searchers recovered the body of snowmobiler Lance J. Gidley, 54, of Sandpoint, Idaho, on Saturday, according to the Boundary County news release. Avalanche warnings were in effect in the area at the time.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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