Avalanche Canada has released more details about the deadly avalanche that killed three German citizens in southeastern British Columbia last week.
It says in an incident report that nine heli-skiers and one guide were about 30 kilometres southwest of Invermere, B.C., in the Coppercrown Mountain region on a run called “Too bad about the skiing.”
It says the guide was regrouping higher up on the run, when “the fifth person in the group triggered a settlement at the regroup, which initiated the avalanche above.”
The organization says the entire group was swept into the sparse forested area next to the larger avalanche path.
It says two guests were fully buried and died on scene, while the guide and three others were partially buried and critically injured, and another sustained non-critical injuries.
Avalanche Canada says all of the injured skiers were airlifted to the Invermere Hospital, where one of them died.
The organization has described the March 1 avalanche as a class 3, meaning it was large enough to destroy a building and break trees. The report says the avalanche was 300 metres in width and 75 centimetres thick.
Last week, the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur said the mayor of the municipality of Eging, east of Munich, confirmed the three men were from Germany and two were residents of his small Bavarian town.
Mayor Walter Bauer told the news agency that the other man was from Munich.
Avalanche Canada has warned about an extremely unstable snowpack across most of B.C. this season. Twelve people have died in six separate avalanches across the province in 2023.
A timeline of avalanche events this season:
Dec. 31: A skier suffers life-threatening injuries in a slide near Emerald Lake in southeast B.C., near the Alberta border, Avalanche Canada says in a report.
Jan. 5: Avalanche Canada warns of a touchy snowpack, with various weak layers created by long periods of drought and cold weather. “Riders have triggered large, scary avalanches with high consequences,” the advisory says.
Jan. 9: Two off-duty police officers are caught up in an avalanche near Kaslo, B.C., while backcountry skiing. Nelson Police Service Const. Wade Tittemore, 43, dies and Const. Mathieu Nolet, 28, sustains severe internal injuries.
Jan. 21: Nolet dies of his injuries in hospital.
Jan. 21: Two snowmobilers riding at the base of a slope near Valemount, B.C., accidentally trigger an avalanche from above, sending a slab of snow onto one rider while the other escapes. The buried rider is found unresponsive and dies.
Jan. 23: Heli-skiers and their guide are caught in an avalanche near Revelstoke, B.C. The two guests, brothers and American businessmen Jon and Tim Kinsley, are dug out of the snow unresponsive and declared dead in hospital. The guide is taken to hospital in stable condition.
Jan. 23: A slide comes down on one person near Cherryville, B.C. Emergency health services say the person is taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.
Feb. 11: Two skiers are caught in an avalanche on Potato Peak, 175 kilometres southeast of Prince George. Both victims were buried alive and found deceased by search-and-rescue crews. One of those killed is identified as an off-duty member of the local search and rescue team.
Feb. 16: Three people are buried in an avalanche triggered outside of a ski-area boundary near Golden, B.C. One is partially buried and extracted, while two are fully buried and do not survive.
March 1: Ten people are caught in an avalanche near the Panorama Mountain Resort, close to the B.C.-Alberta border. Police say three died, while four others taken to hospital are expected to survive.