Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2007-12-08
Submitted By: WWAN
Place: Tent Ridge near the Spray Lakes area
State: AB
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 2
Summary: 2 skiers caught, buried, and killed

OFFICIAL REPORT FROM CAA can be viewed here.


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Two Calgary men die in avalanche

Sean Myers

CanWest News Service

Sunday, December 09, 2007

CALGARY - Two Calgary men were killed by an avalanche in Kananaskis despite the "heroic" rescue efforts of a second group of backcountry skiers.

The two men were skiing in the northeast bowl of Tent Ridge near the Spray Lakes area when they were swept into a stand of trees by a powerful avalanche Saturday afternoon.

Another group of skiers, which had stopped for lunch about 100 metres behind the pair, were the first on the scene.

The trio quickly homed in on transmitters the two men were wearing and had dug them up within 15 to 25 minutes.

"Their efforts were heroic," said George Field, public safety specialist with Kananaskis Emergency Rescue. "They did everything they could."

The two men, believed to be in their late 20s or early 30s, were found dead on the scene, possibly killed by the impact with the trees, said Field.

The call came into Kananaskis Emergency Rescue and Canmore RCMP at about 2:30 p.m.

Four conservation officers, two public safety specialists and a sniffing dog responded for Kananaskis Emergency Rescue with a helicopter in the air a little over 15 minutes after the call came in.

"It was a fairly quick response after we got the call," said Field.

The avalanche that hit the two men was powerful enough to have knocked over an SUV, said Field.

The names of the deceased have not been released by RCMP pending notification of the next of kin.

The avalanche danger was rated as considerable at treeline and alpine elevations and moderate below the treeline on Saturday.

The incident re-affirms the need for caution when going out to the backcountry, said Field. Even when precautions such as transmitters are used and help is close at hand, snow slides can become deadly.

? Calgary Herald 2007