Sledder dies in avalanche at Clemina Creek | Mountain Sledder
Mountain Sledder | On 01, Jan 2017
Patrick Garbutt photos
Snowmobiler dies in avalanche at Clemina Creek
It was a tragic end to 2016 for one family, when a snowmobiler riding Clemina Creek near Valemount, BC was killed by an avalanche on Friday December 30.
Eyewitnesses claim that three sledders were involved in the avalanche that resulted in the death of one of the riders. An Avalanche Canada blog by forecaster Ilya Storm indicates that the avalanche was triggered when two riders from above approached the third rider who was stuck on a slope. Of the three that were involved in the avalanche; one was on the surface, one was partially buried and the fatal victim was fully buried. There is no information regarding what avalanche safety equipment–transceiver, probe, shovel or avalanche airbag–any of the victims may have been carrying.
RCMP was dispatched to the trailhead at 1:21pm, but a decision was made by Search & Rescue crews to postpone the search until the following day on account of the unstable conditions.
The Clemina Creek area was closed to the public on Saturday Dec 31, while crews recovered the body of the fatally injured sledder. The area has since been re-opened.
The name or age of the victim has not been released, however it has been reported that the victim was male. The avalanche is reported as having occurred the Morning Glory area, which is described in Mountain Sledder’s own description of the Clemina Creek area as containing, “nice open meadows, great climbs and some scenic views.”
The current Avalanche Canada forecast for the North Columbia region lists the hazard rating as; Considerable in the alpine; Moderate at treeline; and Low at below treeline. The forecast advises to “watch for wind slabs in unusual places as we head into a clear cold week.”
This is the first snowmobiler avalanche fatality in Canada in Winter 2016/2017. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim.
Ride safe in the new year.