Blue River-area avalanche claims two snowmobilers

By James Peters
March 15, 2016 - 6:45am Updated: March 15, 2016 - 5:30pm

BLUE RIVER, B.C. — Two Alberta men have been identified as the victims killed when an avalanche rolled over their snowmobiles northeast of Kamloops, B.C.

RCMP say the men were part of a group of seven who were snowmobiling southwest of Blue River late Monday afternoon when the slide hit.

The group was equipped with rescue gear and the survivors were able to dig the two unresponsive men from the snow, but efforts to revive them failed.

Search and rescue officials and an RCMP helicopter helped recover the bodies.

Neither the names of the men nor their hometowns in Alberta have been released.

Avalanche Canada official Joe Lammers is urging backcountry skiers and sledders to take special care because of the increased danger of slides toward the end of the season.

“It can feel like spring, you’ll get those warm sunny days, but March is statistically the most deadly month for avalanches,” he says.

“You are combining those warm days with a complicated winter snowpack.”

A snowmobiler was engulfed by an avalanche in North Shuswap last weekend and rescue crews recovered his body Monday near Crowfoot Mountain, north of Celista.

Twelve people have died in avalanches across Western Canada so far this season. 

— With files from the Canadian Press

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