German heli-skier dies in an avalanche — UPDATED!

The Revelstoke RCMP have released some additional details about an avalanche that claimed the life of a German heli-skier on Monday, March 24.

“At approximately 10:28 am PST on March 24… the avalanche occurred in the Selkirk Mountain Range, approximately 100 km north of Revelstoke,” said the updated statement from Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky, which was issued to local news media on Wednesday, March 26. “The incident occurred in the CMH Adamants tenure while four skiers and one guide were waiting to be picked up by a helicopter near the valley bottom.

“The avalanche was categorized as a size 4 on a 5-point scale. The fracture line of the avalanche occurred at an elevation of approximately 2,550 metres on a slope with a westerly aspect. The avalanche destroyed a 250-metre-wide area of mature timber that was directly above and sheltering the pickup location which was at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres.”

The statement said that the avalanche was large enough to destroy mature trees in its path. One male heli-skier was buried in the avalanche. The victim was located many minutes after the initial avalanche and was located under three metres of snow. Medical treatment was provided on scene by two physicians who were on the scene but the victim could not be resuscitated and succumbed to his injuries. The male victim was 45 years of age and a citizen of Germany. Three guests and one guide were also involved in the incident and were treated for minor injuries.

“Our sympathies are with the family of the victim and everyone involved in this accident,” Grabinsky said, adding that the RCMP is assisting a BC Coroner’s Service investigation.

The name of the victim will be released by the BC Coroner Service once all family members are notified.