A stunning overview of an avalanche path in the Purcell Mountains near Golden, B.C. is shown in this Feb. 16, 2023 handout photo (The Canadian Press//HO, Avalanche Canada, Golden and District Search and Rescue)
Tragically, two people have died and one was injured in an avalanche in the Purcell Mountains in southeastern British Columbia on Thursday. A group of five snowboarders and one skier were caught in the slide in an area known as Terminator 2.5 outside of a ski area boundary near the town of Golden. The avalanche was triggered by the group, burying three people, two completely and one partly. Sadly, the two buried victims did not survive and the one person partly buried was rescued with injuries. A second group of snowboarders that was lower on the trail when the avalanche triggered was hit by the slide but no one was buried or hurt.
Avalanche Canada warns that the snowpack in the interior is incredibly complex and difficult and may show no signs of instability before a large avalanche happens. Last Saturday, one of the two people killed in an avalanche in B.C.’s Cariboo region has been identified as an off-duty volunteer member of the local search and rescue team. Central Cariboo Search and Rescue did not name the person who died but released a statement saying the person was a “treasured part of our team” who will be significantly missed. Avalanche forecasters have warned of an ongoing dangerous snowpack this season with persistent weaknesses that make forecasting difficult.