Holyk Creek avalanche claims a life

The Revelstoke RCMP confirm that a 45-year-old Canadian man died while heli-skiing on Friday afternoon December 30. He was identified as Ronald Gregory Sheardown of Stouffville, Ontario, who is currently residing in Dubai.

A group of 11 skiers with one guide were heli-skiing with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), in the Selkirk range southeast of Revelstoke at the time of the avalanche.

Senior Media Relations Officer Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said the group of heli-skiers were in an area 32 km southeast of Revelstoke when a skier triggered an avalanche while the group was on the “Selkirk” run located in the Holyk Creek drainage early Friday afternoon

The avalanche was categorized as a class 2.5. The fracture line of the avalanche occurred at an elevation of approximately 1,850 metres on a slope with a SE aspect. The avalanche path was approximately 75 metres wide and ran for a distance of about 250 meters.

Four skiers were buried, three of them only partially and Sheardown was completely buried. The three were pulled free uninjured. Sheardown was eventually located via his avalanche transceiver but was unresponsive when rescuers pulled him from the snow, Moskaluk said

CMH crews brought physicians to the scene to provide emergency medical care, however, they were unsuccessful in reviving Sheardown. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. The rest of the group was flown off the mountain by CMH, without further incident.

The Revelstoke RCMP and BC Coroners Service are continuing their investigation into the man’s death.

This was the second avalanche-related fatality in BC this week. A few days ago a skier was killed in a snow slide near Pemberton.