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2 dead in avalanche triggered near Golden

A group of snowboarders triggered the avalanche in the Purcell Mountains
Area showing the upper portion of the avalanche including the crown. (Avalanche Canada)

Two people are dead following an avalanche in the Purcell Mountains on Thursday, Feb.16.

According to Avalanche Canada, a group of five snowboarders and one skier were caught in the avalanche in an area known as Terminator 2.5, outside of a ski area boundary near Golden.

“The avalanche was triggered by the group and four members of the group were involved. Three members of the group were buried by the avalanche, one partially and two completely,” said Avalanche Canada.

One person was rescued from the scene and sustained injuries unknown. However, two others were fully buried by snow and did not survive.

A second group of snowboarders were below the first group when the incident unfolded and were impacted by the slide, yet, did not sustain injuries.

“The avalanche ran on a weak layer of facets near the base of the snowpack. The very large avalanche measured 115 m wide by 950 m long with a crown depth of 1.5 metres,” stated Avalanche Canada.

Terminator 2.5 is located off of Kicking Horse Resort, to the south. Golden Search and Rescue attended the scene.

Avalanche forecasters warned at the start of the ski season that the cold, dry spells across B.C. created weak, unstable layers of snow in many parts of the province.

Ari Hannah, a forecaster with Avalanche Canada, said these kinds of conditions haven’t been seen since 2003.

The two killed in the avalanche triggered on Thursday, bring the death toll to nine, for this year in B.C.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, two skiers were buried and killed by an avalanche south of Tatla Lake in central B.C.

Avalanche Canada said the pair had snowmobiled into the Potato Mountain Range, about 40 kilometres south of Tatla Lake before putting on their skis.

Two Nelson police officers were killed near Kaslo in early January, followed by a snowmobiler near Valemount and two American brothers near Revelstoke.

READ MORE: 1 snowmobiler dead in avalanche near Valemount, B.C.

READ MORE: B.C.’s avalanche conditions highly risky, haven’t been seen in 2 decades

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Black Press Media Staff

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