An avalanche that occurred in B.C.’s Nicola Valley on Saturday afternoon has left one person dead.
B.C. RCMP spokesman Jesse O'Donaghey says searchers found the victim, who did not survive.
Initial reports from the scene indicate that one person was attempting to find a second person trapped by the slide. The two men were reportedly snowmobiling together in the backcountry when the avalanche happened.
O'Donaghey says the BC Coroners Service has been notified and is investigating the man's death.
The avalanche occurred around 12:40 p.m. between Prospect Creek and Cabin Lake, which is approximately 56 kilometers southwest of Merritt.
The region where the avalanche occurred is under a “high” avalanche risk, where there are several layers of unstable snowpack and “very dangerous avalanche conditions”, according to Avalanche Canada.
Natural avalanches in areas with a “high” avalanche risk are likely, and human-triggered avalanches very likely.
The recent weather has contributed to these dangerous conditions due to the heavy snowfall on top of the persistently weak snowpack and the changeable temperature pattern.
Here are some avalanche safety tips, courtesy of the Government of Canada:
If you are caught in an avalanche:
• If there is machinery, equipment or heavy objects around you, push them away to avoid injury.
• Grab onto anything solid, such as trees or rocks to avoid being swept away.
• Close your mouth and clench your teeth.
• If you find you are moving downward with the avalanche, stay on the surface by using a swimming motion.
• Try to move yourself to the side of the avalanche.
When the avalanche slows try to:
• Push yourself to the surface.
• Make an air pocket in front of your face using one arm.
• Use the other arm to push towards the surface.
After an avalanche:
• Dig yourself out, if you can.
• Relax your breathing. This is especially important if you cannot dig yourself out.
• Stay calm and shout only when help is near.
With files from CBC News.