Published March 21, 2010
VALEMONT, British Columbia – VALEMONT, British Columbia (AP) — A third deadly avalanche in British Columbia within a week has killed two French skiers as they were coming down a mountain after being dropped off by helicopter, police said Sunday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said a slide in Wells Gray Provincial Park buried three skiers on Saturday, killing two men aged 65 and 19.
The third man caught in the slide was rescued without injuries, the RCMP said in a news release.
The two dead French skiers were found with the help of avalanche beacon locators but they were unconscious and could not be resuscitated, the RCMP said. Their families have requested their names not be released.
The avalanche occurred when a licensed heli-ski operator had a group of 10 skiers and two guides descending a run in the Azure River Drainage area in the park's Cariboo Mountain range.
Heli-ski tours offer enthusiasts the opportunity to ski downhill in a natural setting, with the use of helicopters to take them to terrain difficult to reach by other means.
It was the third fatal avalanche in British Columbia in the past week.
On Friday, an avalanche on Eagle Pass Mountain west of Revelstoke, British Columbia, killed a 30-year-old Calgary man who was snowmobiling.
Last weekend an avalanche on nearby Boulder Mountain killed two Alberta men and injured 31 people at a snowmobiling event called the Big Iron Shoot-Out. About 200 sledders, including children, were gathered on the mountain when the slide hit, also on a Saturday.
The British Columbia interior has been hit with heavy snow and temperature fluctuations in the past few weeks, which have led to severe avalanche warnings from experts.