2 Snowmobilers Killed in British Columbia

Snow slides left two more snowmobilers dead over the weekend in British Columbia, raising the province's avalanche death total for the season to 15.

As of Sunday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police had not released the identity of either victim.

The most recent death occurred Saturday when a snowmobiler was high marking, zooming uphill to see how far he could go, and was caught by an avalanche in the Back Meadows area of Babcock Mountain near Tumbler Ridge in the northeastern part of the province, police Constable Tim Hawkes said.

Five others on snowmobiles in the same group remained off to one side near the bottom of the hill and were not caught by the slide, Hawkes said. By the time the man who was buried in the snow had been located, he had died.

On Friday an avalanche hit two people on snowmobiles out of a group of seven in the Monashee Mountains near Valemount in the south-central interior of the province, police spokesman Craig Douglass said.

Both were dug out, but one was not breathing and could not be revived, Douglass said.

Avalanche dangers have been high throughout much of British Columbia's many mountain ranges this winter. Eight snowmobilers died late last month when they were caught in a series of avalanches near Fernie in the southeast corner of the province.