The victim of this month’s fatal avalanche on Meadow Mountain north of Kaslo has been identified as a 50-year-old Finnish man.
Ilkka Saarinen of Janakkala, Finland was with a group of 10 skiers and two guides when the avalanche occurred on the morning of February 3 during an outing with Selkirk Wilderness Skiing.
The group was skiing one at a time down the run when Saarinen triggered the avalanche.He was located and dug out of the snow by the cat-ski operation’s guides, but attempts to revive him using CPR were unsuccessful.
Saarinen was wearing a helmet and had a transceiver. He was airlifted from the northeast slope of Meadow Mountain to Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson.
No other skiers were caught in the avalanche.
“This is the kind of thing that shakes everybody right to the core,” Keith Davis of Selkirk Wilderness Skiing said after the accident.
It was the first fatality in the company’s 37 years.
“The staff are certainly terribly impacted by this kind of thing… we just want to reinforce the concern of the ownership and the staff for the victim’s family,” Davis said.
The other skiers were taken back to the resort lodge, which is accessible via a 30-minute snow cat ride from Meadow Creek.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre reported the avalanche as a size three at 150 metres wide, and 150 centimetres thick at an elevation of 2,430 metres.