A climber from British Columbia is dead after being buried in an avalanche at a provincial park in southern Alberta on Saturday.
An online report from Avalanche Canada says a pair of ice climbers had just finished ascending the Lone Ranger ice climb in Ranger Creek at Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and were starting their descent on foot from the base when they were struck by a wind-slab avalanche.
The report says they were swept into a gully on the slope below, and while one of them managed to dig their way out, the other was fully buried and didn’t survive.
RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff says Kananaskis Emergency Services received a report from a Garmin GPS about the slide along with word that people were in distress, and when they responded, they located a 26-year-old woman.
A man who was with her couldn’t be found, but Savinkoff says the 29-year-old from Squamish, B.C. was found dead underneath the snow on Sunday morning.
Alberta Parks says the Ranger Creek Drainage area, including the Lone ranger ice climb, is now closed due to the incident.
Avalanche Canada says on its website that the wind-slab avalanche had developed rapidly above a reactive crust that had formed on Nov. 10. Other dry loose and wind slab avalanches were noted to have occurred in the area, the report said.