Skier's body recovered following avalanche

The body of a backcountry skier reported missing following an avalanche Tuesday north of Valemount has been recovered.

RCMP said he had been skiing with two others in the Swift Creek valley when a class 3.5 avalanche struck shortly before 3 p.m. on Tuesday. A class 3.5 avalanche is large enough to bury a car, destroy a small building, or break trees, according to Avalanche Canada.

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The two others were partially buried without injury and used an satellite communication device to notify emergency services.

Robson Valley Search and Rescue were called in but had to suspend the search due to darkness. Members of the team found the man deceased on Wednesday, RCMP said.

RCMP said the victim was a 35-year-old man from Fernie. His name was not provided. All three were experienced backcountry skiers, RCMP said. 

In a posting, Avalanche Canada said the avalanche was 400 metres wide and 50-140cm deep and ran about 800 metres, nearly to the valley bottom. The avalanche was likely remotely triggered from below the start zone after whumphing was reported to have occurred.

"The avalanche was likely remotely triggered from below the start zone after whumphing was reported to have occurred. Two people were partially buried and able to self rescue but could not locate the third person who was fully buried," Avalanche Canada said.

The slide appears to have been the product of a weak layer "known to exist in many parts of the Northern Rockies as well as other ranges throughout British Columbia."

For the Northern Rockies, Avalanche Canada has forecast a danger rating of considerable for Friday rising to high at all elevations during the weekend as a wave of snowfall was expected to pass through the region.

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