Two die in B.C. avalanche as forecasters warn of ‘complex,’ ‘weak’ snowpack

PEMBERTON, B.C. – RCMP say two men have died in an avalanche north of Whistler, B.C.

A statement from the Mounties says the victims were snow biking when they were reported missing late Monday near Goat Peak, a popular backcountry destination outside Pemberton.

Police say others in the area reported signs of a fresh avalanche, but darkness and treacherous terrain delayed a search until first light Tuesday.

Parts of the snow bikes were located in the avalanche field soon after the search began, and the statement says the bodies of the two men were found and removed from the slide debris a short time later.

The BC Coroners Service is investigating and police say the names of the two men will not be released.

Avalanche Canada says a complex snowpack with several weak layers has created the potential for large, human-caused avalanches.

Several areas affected are the Purcell range in the southeast, Cariboo Mountains of central B.C., and slopes of the Sea-to-Sky region north of Vancouver, which includes the Whistler and Pemberton areas.

TORONTO STAR