A skier is dead after his party of three triggered an avalanche at Lake Louise Ski Resort on April 22.
The trio ventured into a closed area called West Bowl, triggering a Size 3 avalanche that partially buried one of them and fully buried another. Avalanche Canada reported the avalanche was “200 meters wide and 550 meters long with a crown depth of 40-50 centimeters.”
According to a Lake Louise Ski Resort press release, the resort received notification of the avalanche at approximately 2:20 p.m. Rescue teams quickly responded, but the Calgary Herald reported one of the men — Red Deer native Cale Stecyk — was buried for close to an hour before crews discovered him using a line probe.
A helicopter airlifted him to a medical staging area in the resort parking lot, where medical teams were standing by. Unfortunately, Stecyk did not survive.
“One individual, who’s a 21-year-old male, unfortunately, was deceased,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Troy Savinkoff told Rocky Mountain Outlook. “The other two individuals, I believe, suffered minor, if any injuries at all.”
None of the individuals were wearing avalanche safety equipment, the resort said in a statement posted to its website.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” the resort added.
The avalanche is the latest in a deadly spring avalanche season in western Canada. So far, 12 people have died in avalanche incidents in British Columbia this year. Saturday’s fatality, which occurred on the Alberta side of Banff National Park, is the first avalanche-related death in that province this year.
“This spring, avalanche conditions continue to be challenging with several deep persistent layers remaining in the snowpack that are vulnerable to human triggering,” Parks Canada said, according to the Rocky Mountain Outlook. “These layers have consistently been producing large, dangerous avalanches and this is expected to continue as temperatures begin to warm. Visitors are reminded to obey all closures at ski hills.”