Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2002-01-12
Submitted By: WWAN per
Place: Parker Ridge,near the Columbia Icefield
State: AB
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 3 skiers caught, 2 fully buried, 2 rescued, 1 killed


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Sunday , Jan 13, 2002

Icefield tragedy

Park warden dies in hospital after avalanche

JASPER, Alta. (CP) - A mountain park warden died in a

Calgary hospital early Sunday after he and two colleagues

were buried in an avalanche south of this mountain resort


Mike Wynn, 37, originally from Ontario, died from injuries

sustained in the snowslide Saturday. The two other members

of the mountain park's avalanche team suffered

non-life-threatening injuries in the mid-afternoon mishap on

Parker Ridge, a popular back-country ski area near the

Columbia Icefield, 110 kilometres south of Jasper.

Park officials, who launched an investigation into the incident

Sunday, said the three had just finished conducting a "snow

profile" to update the park's backcountry ski report and were

skiing back to their vehicle when the avalanche hit


"All three were caught in the avalanche," said Jasper Park

spokesman Ifan Thomas.

He said warden Brad Romaniuk, 28, managed to dig himself

out and after summoning help on his radio he rescued Randy

Fingland, 43, about five minutes after the avalanche struck.

Thomas said Fingland was unconscious but he was revived

with artificial respiration.

He said Romaniuk then located Wynn through his radio

transceiver and dug him out within 25 minutes of the


Wynn, who was found unconscious and not breathing, was

given CPR and airlifted to hospital in Banff and later Calgary.

Thomas said Wynn had been with the warden service for two

decades and had worked in a number of parks before arriving

in Jasper.

It was his second season on the park's avalanche team.

"He was regarded as very professional and very thorough and

very popular," Thomas said.

Wynn was married and had a young son.

All three men were experienced back-country skiers and were

equipped with radio transceivers, snow probes and avalanche

shovels, Thomas said.

While the accident shows how dangerous an avalanche can

be, it also demonstrates the importance of carrying such

avalanche safety equipment, he added.

He said it was mandatory for all park wardens to carry the

three items when skiing in the back-country.

? The Canadian Press, 2002

Sunday , Jan 13, 2002

Park wardens caught in avalanche

EDMONTON ( - Jasper Park wardens who were

testing for avalanche dangers narrowly escaped death when

they got buried under the very thing they were testing.

A third warden who escaped the avalanche dug them out.

One of the wardens was in critical condition in Foothills

Hospital in Calgary.

The second buried warden was in hospital with a broken leg

and the third man who escaped the avalanche was uninjured.

The three were conducting snow profile tests on Parker's

Ridge about 110 km south of Jasper near Hwy. 93 when

disaster struck about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, snow safety experts warned that the avalanche

hazard throughout the Rockies this weekend is considerable.

The snow pack has been overloaded by recent snow and

moisture, conditions that can easily trigger an avalanche.