Skier killed in avalanche near Lake Louise

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The fracture line from a fatal avalanche on Haddo Peak in Banff National Park on Monday. (Submitted by Parks Canada - image credit)
The fracture line from a fatal avalanche on Haddo Peak in Banff National Park on Monday. (Submitted by Parks Canada - image credit)

A skier is dead after an avalanche on Haddo Peak, near Lake Louise, Alta.

Parks Canada said two of its visitor safety specialists responded to an avalanche involving two skiers on the northeast face of the 3,070-metre-high mountain in Banff National Park on Monday morning.

RCMP told CBC News they received a phone call to assist park wardens at the Chateau Lake Louise staging area at 9:26 a.m.

Parks said a size two slab avalanche was triggered on an east-facing, shallow part of the snow pack.

It was about 40 metres wide and the fracture line — the crack that forms on the outer part of a slab avalanche — is estimated to be about 40 to 60 centimetres deep. Avalanche conditions were listed as moderate at the time.

One skier managed to escape the avalanche, Parks said, but the second skier had succumbed to injuries by the time the first skier was able to dig that person out.

Avalanche Canada said on its website that the skier who died was carried 600 metres through extreme terrain.

Parks Canada said it's important for backcountry users to pay attention to the direction the terrain faces to understand how sun can impact the snow pack. Current condition reports can be found on Avalanche Canada's website.