Revelstoke avalanche kills skiier just outside resort boundary

A view of Greeley Bowl at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. - Revelstoke Times Review file photo
A view of Greeley Bowl at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
— image credit: Revelstoke Times Review file photo

An avalanche just beyond the ski boundary at Revelstoke Mountain Resort buried three skiers, killing one, on Friday afternoon.

BC coroners service identified the avalanche victim as Holger Achim Fritz, 24, originally from Stuttgart, Germany. He had recently moved to Revelstoke and was working at the mountain's repair shop for the winter.

Fritz was with among a group of five skiers who ventured into the back country area east of the resort and were nearing an area known as Greeley Bowl when the avalanche struck around 1 p.m. on February 22.

Everyone in the group was equipped with avalanche safety gear, including air bags that self inflate and to lift a buried skier out of the snow. Three of the skiers were hit by the avalanche, however two were able to self-rescue with the help of their airbags.

Fritz remained trapped under the snow. The four skiers dug him, but he was unconscious and his companions could not revive him. The next day his body was removed by Search and Rescue.

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

Last Monday, a heli-skier was killed in an avalanche on the Purcell Mountain range near Radium Hot Springs.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre continues to list the avalanche risk as "considerable" to "high" in many parts of the province and urges all backcountry users to take extreme care.

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