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German heli-skier dies in avalanche near Invermere

Gotz-Thilo Ries, 34, of Karlsehie, Germany died in an avalanche Purcell Mountains east of Jumbo Mountain on February 18.  - Facebook photo
Gotz-Thilo Ries, 34, of Karlsehie, Germany died in an avalanche Purcell Mountains east of Jumbo Mountain on February 18.
— image credit: Facebook photo

A German heli-skier died in an avalanche in the Purcell Mountains east of Jumbo Mountain yesterday.

Gotz-Thilo Ries, 34, of Karlsehie, Germany was part of a 12 person group touring with a mountain guide, according to a media release issued from the BC Coroner Service.

An earlier release from Columbia Valley RCMP described the avalanche as 150 meters wide and running down the mountain for approximately 300 meters.

Three adult males were caught in the snow. They all had beacons and the guide worked quickly to get them to the surface.

One man was unharmed, one was pulled out with non-life threatening injuries and the third was unresponsive.

He was immediately transported to hospital in Invermere by helicopter but could not be revived.

The group was on their sixth run of the day when a Class 2 avalanche occurred. All skiers were trained to properly use a beacon before heading out on the ski adventure.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate this death.

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