Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2000-01-17
Submitted By: Brian Robinson
Place: Tent Ridge, near Canmore
State: AB
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 skier caught buried and killed

Woman's Spirit Touched Many

Avalanche victim remembered for her love of life

by Joel Schlesinger, Canmroe Leader

The Canmore woman killed in an avalanche on Tent Ridge last week was a

sports enthusiast and an active member of the community, friends said.

When I sat down and looked through her photo album, I was amazed how much

she hiked and biked and did so many other activities in the community, said

Lynn Borrowman, who was Foster's supervisor at the Rec Centre pool. "we

were just getting to know her."

Chrystal Foster, 22, had just started to work full time as a lifeguard,

aquacize instrucdtor and program coordinator at the pool, when she died last

Monday (Jan. 17) while backcountry skiing on a U-shaped bowl on the upper

slopes of Tent Ridge in Kannanaskis Country.

She, her boyfriend and their dog were skiing in the early afternoon when

they were caught in a Class 3 avalanche.

"It was a pretty large size," siad George Field, a public safety specialist

for the Natural Resources Service, who was involvied in recovering Foster's

body. "It was strong enough to take a 1 1/2 ton truck and break and bend

it"

The avalanche swept Foster and her common-law husband Ed Riep, 28, from the

alpine slope into a heavily treed area.

Riep got caught up in the trees and was unharmed. Foster died of severe

trauma when she was swept into the treed area on the mountain.

When Riep found Foister, she was already dead, Field said. He skied out of

the area, went to the Spray Rager Station - more than 30 km away - and

contacted the Natural Resources Service at about 3 p.m.

Kananaskis Public Safety officials were dispatched, but had to call off the

search that evening because of bad weather and the darkness.

"We knew where she was. We just couldn't get to her," Field said. "it was

fairly late in the day and we didn't have that much time."