CSAC Avalanche Incident

New Denver, BC - January 2, 1998

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Official Reports

Media Reports

Searchers recover bodies from Canadian avalanches

Reuters - 08:44 p.m Jan 05, 1998 Eastern

By Jeffrey Jones

Two skiers died in an avalanche on Saturday close to Mt. Alwin, near New Denver, British Columbia, northwest of Nelson, which is 270 miles (430 km) east of Vancouver.

The two, Kevin Alexander Jewitt, 27, and Simon Horton Lewis, 26, both of Lemon Creek, British Columbia, were expert back country skiers, Mounties said.

Bad weather halts avalanche search

Sunday January 4 6:57 PM EST

NELSON, British Columbia, Jan. 4 (UPI) Royal Canadian Mounted Police say bad weather has halted all search and rescue missions at avalanche sites in southeast British Columbia.

Avalanche conditions remain high.

The weather has also thwarted efforts to recover the bodies of two skiers killed in an avalanche Saturday in the New Denver region.

The area is north of Nelson, British Columbia.

Police have not released the names of the victims.

Canada avalanche tragedy worst in recent history

Reuters - 04:20 p.m Jan 04, 1998 Eastern

By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 4 (Reuters) - A series of avalanches in the mountains of western Canada which killed at least eight people at the weekend were the most deadly in recent memory, officials said on Sunday.

Avalanches triggered by cold weather and new snowfall roared down three mountains in southeastern British Columbia, burying backcountry skiers and snowmobilers. One skier was still missing on Sunday.

"We've never seen this many recreational skiers killed by avalanches in a single day," Evan Manners of the Canadian Avalanche Centre in Revelstoke, British Columbia said on Sunday. "It's not the worst thing that's ever happened in Canada, but in recent history, it's the worst recreational tragedy we've seen."

The danger of more avalanches in the South Columbia Mountains region of the Canadian Rockies remained high, he said.

Two people died in an avalanche close to Mt. Alwin, near New Denver, British Columbia, 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Nelson, which is in the Selkirk Range of the Rockies, some 270 miles (430 km) east of Vancouver.

The confirmed deaths bring to 13 the number of people killed in avalanches in western Canada this winter.

An average of 10 people are killed each year in western Canadian avalanches, according to Canadian Avalanche Centre statistics.

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Comments = Canadian Press report-

KASLO, B.C. (CP) At least eight people died in three separate avalanches in southeastern British Columbia and an extreme avalanche warning was in effect throughout the Kootenays. Five skiers and three snowmobilers were reported dead Saturday and one skier was still missing.

In New Denver, B.C., about 50 kilometres northwest of Kaslo, the bodies of two snowmobilers remained at an avalanche site near Mount Alwin. It is believed that some snowmobilers escaped the avalanche and made their way to the RCMP station in New Denver where they told police that two members of their expedition were missing. Salem said depending on conditions, rescuers using snowmobiles would try to reach the bodies today.

The Canadian Avalanche Association had issued an extreme avalanche warning for the area and Salem said slides were happening throughout the Kootenay region in southeastern B.C. all weekend.

Other Sources