Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2009-04-14
Submitted By: WWAN
Place: Notre-Dame Mountains on Quebec's upper Gaspé Peninsula
State: QC
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 skier caught, buried, and killed


Gaspésie (QC), Canada - A 26 year-old Quebec City man died in an avalanche while backcountry skiing Tuesday in the Notre-Dame Mountains on Quebec's upper Gaspé Peninsula.

Jean-Philippe Poirier was skiing on a partially treed north facing sub-alpine slope at about 750 meters altitude (2,460 feet) on Mont Médaille when he triggered a slab avalanche that buried him, according to the Gaspé Avalanche Centre. By the time he was located by his companions he was unconscious and was shortly thereafter declared dead. The Avalanche Centre speculates that the snow that slid originated from the Easter weekend storm that dropped some 14 inches of snow on the region.


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26-year-old dies in Quebec avalanche

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Quebec man died in an avalanche triggered while he was back-country skiing in the province's Gaspé region.

Jean-Philippe Poirier, 26, was skiing with a group Tuesday in a remote, forested area near the Chic Choc Mountains, about 20 kilometres from Gaspé's northern coast.

Poirier took a run alone down an ungroomed hill, and triggered an avalanche, said provincial police officer Claude Ross.

He was completely buried and unconscious by the time his companions found him. Poirier was declared dead a few hours later.

There was a moderate risk of an avalanche on the weekend because of some 35 centimetres of fresh snow that fell in the region on Saturday and Sunday, said Dominic Boucher, operations manager at the Gaspé Avalanche Centre.

There are avalanches reported in the region every year, but no one has died in one since March 2000.