Two fathers and a son perish in BC avalanche

On February 19, 2011 at around 4:50 p.m. a report of a spot GPS beacon emergency activation alerted the Golden RCMP to a back country emergency happening in the Hope River Mount Gerald area. The Golden RCMP immediately activated the Golden and District Search and Rescue via PEP.

Radio contact was then made with members of the Golden Back Country Lodges, who were on the scene and able to relay details and the exact nature of the emergency.

“A group of four males were operating snowmobiles in the Hope River back country area located off of the Big Bend Highway west of Golden. Witness statements have confirmed that the avalanche appears to have been human triggered when two of the four men were high marking and the other two men were observing at the bottom of the slope. The slide buried these four males” stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.

The group consisted of two fathers, ages 48 and 50 years with their sons in their 20s, all four from Halkirk Alberta. A second group of snowmobilers in the vicinity witnessed the slide and responded immediately and located the males, one male from this group was partially buried but was able to free himself. The group dug the buried men out and brought them to the surface. One of the males was resuscitated, however efforts to revive the remaining 3 males were unsuccessful. The two fathers and one of the sons perished.

The surviving member of the group was transported to the Golden Hospital via BCAS for treatment of minor injuries and shock symptoms. The Golden RCMP and BC Coroners Office are conducting an investigation of the occurrence. The Golden RCMP and Golden Search and Rescue team will resume their recovery efforts at first light Sunday morning. Rescuers will firstly assess slope stability conditions in the area to ensure that rescuers can re-enter the area safely to effect the recovery.

Identities of the males are being withheld pending notification of all next of kin and consideration of their requests for privacy at this time.

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1 Comment

  1. It is a real tragedy for these two families.
    It should be made illegal for anyone to telemark without breathuing apparatus in case there is an avalanche.

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