South Cariboo Search and Rescue head to the scene of an avalanche at Eureka Peak. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)

South Cariboo Search and Rescue head to the scene of an avalanche at Eureka Peak. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)

Avalanche east of Williams Lake claims life of 37-year-old snowmobiler: RCMP

Transponder detected but area of Eureka Peak too unstable for responders to go in

Public in the backcountry east of Williams Lake is asked to stay away from Eureka Peak snowmobile area Tuesday, March 30 as emergency crews respond to a fatal avalanche in the area that has claimed the life of a 37-year-old man.

RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, district advisory NCO for the North, said South Cariboo Search and Rescue (SCSAR) was notified of an avalanche on Eureka Peak on Monday, March 29 at 4 p.m. where it was reported that one person died. At 6:52 p.m., the Williams Lake RCMP were notified.

“A 37-year-old man was with a group of snowmobilers when the avalanche happened, and sadly, the man was buried in the snow,” Saunderson said in a news release.

Saunderson noted SCAR attended in a helicopter, finding the site completely buried and were unable to set down. She added SCAR members did detect an avalanche transceiver and spoke with witnesses.

South Cariboo Search and Rescue is responding to the snowmobile area near Eureka Peak.
We respectfully ask that the…

Posted by South Cariboo Search & Rescue on Tuesday, March 30, 2021

“Williams Lake RCMP spoke with SCAR and learned that the site was currently not safe for anyone to access. SCAR hopes to attend the scene, however weather and conditions may affect their ability to at this time,” she noted.

“We respectfully ask that the public stay clear of the area as there is the possibility that avalanche control measures will take place.”

Responding to news of the fatality, Williams Lake Powder Kings Club vice-president Rick Seibert said it was “devastating news and the club sends thoughts and prayers to all the people affected by this tragic event.”

Eureka Peak is about 100 kms east of Williams Lake. The avalanche rating Monday, March 30 was noted to be considerable at the peak of the mountain, and moderate at the lower elevation, according to Avalanche Canada.

There have been nine avalanche fatalities in B.C. this winter, and six since January, 2021.


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