12 February 2018 0 Comments Posted By : Megan Devlin

Man airlifted to hospital after avalanche near Golden, B.C.

A 36-year-old man is in critical condition after he was caught in an avalanche near Golden, B.C. on Friday.

The victim and a friend, both visiting from southern Alberta, were out snowmobiling on the Hospital Creek trail, a popular ungroomed 20 kilometre sledding route.

An avalanche was triggered in the backcountry just before 4 p.m., seriously injuring the victim.

"It was a self-rescue situation," said Const. Spencer Lainchbury with the Golden RCMP.

The victim's friend and two others who came across them were able to dig the man out before he was airlifted to hospital.

The victim's family has been notified and he remains in critical condition in a Calgary.

Although it was a clear day, Avalanche Canada had issued a special warning on Thursday urging anyone going into B.C.'s backcountry to take extra caution.

"Survival in avalanches is measured in minutes," Lainchbury said. "People need to equip themselves properly with an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.”

He added that avalanches near Golden aren't uncommon. The community was rocked by two fatalities in 2016.

Three weeks of storms have created a snowpack with a complex mix of weak layers, according to Avalanche Canada. The danger is expected to persist through Monday.

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