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One dead after avalanche out of bounds near Revelstoke Mountain Resort

A view of Greeley Bowl at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The avalanche occurred beyond the boundary, in an area that would be the left of this photo. - File photo
A view of Greeley Bowl at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The avalanche occurred beyond the boundary, in an area that would be the left of this photo.
— image credit: File photo

One man is dead after getting caught in an avalanche out of bounds at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Friday.

Unconfirmed reports indicate five people were skiing in the Greeley Ridge area beyond the boundary of Greeley Bowl when the avalanche was triggered.

RCMP said three people were caught in the slide. Two people were rescued uninjured but the third was not. According to unconfirmed reports, the survivors managed to dig out the deceased and performed CPR for 20 minutes to no avail. The four survivors were able to return inbounds; they left the deceased in the backcountry.

Revelstoke Search and Rescue is expected to recover the body on Saturday.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, a spokesperson for the RCMP, confirmed the death via his Twitter account.

The avalanche danger for the alpine and treeline was rated high on Friday, meaning natural avalanches are likely and human-triggered avalanches very likely. The day was characterized by heavy snow and wind, with the resort reporting 23 centimetres of new snow over the past 24 hours as of 4 p.m.

The avalanche bulletin said a spike in natural avalanche activity was to be expected on Friday. "Direct action storm slabs and deeper persistent slab avalanches are very likely with this system," the bulletin states.

The cause of the avalanche is not yet known.

The area the group was skiing is a popular side-country area that is easily accessible from the resort.

This is the second avalanche death in B.C. this week. On Monday, Feb. 18, Gotz-Thilo Ries of Germany died in an avalanche on Jumbo Mountain while heli-skiing with RK Heliski near Invermere.

These are only the second and third avalanche deaths this winter. The first happened when a surveyor was caught in a slide near Stewart, B.C., in October.

More to come...

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