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Memorial service for avalanche victims

A memorial service will be held in the small town of Sparwood on Sunday, for eight snowmobilers who died in an avalanche near Fernie.

A memorial service will be held in the small town of Sparwood on Sunday, for eight snowmobilers who died in an avalanche near Fernie.

The men were part of a group of 11 friends who were caught in four successive avalanches in Flathead Valley on Dec. 28.

Jeff Adams, one of the three men to survive the incident, said in an emotional news conference that the decision to leave his friends and head for safety haunts him.

“We had to make the gut-wrenching decision to leave ... and start walking off the mountain,” Adams said, explaining that he knew that another avalanche was imminent.

“I replay it in my head all the time whether it was the right decision or not. The three of us talked it through and decided the best bet was to get out of the area and get help.”

Seven of the bodies were recovered Monday. Adams returned with search crews on Tuesday to help find the last missing man.
“It brought a sense of closure,” Adams said.