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New avalanches kill 2 more

Rescuers on Thursday located the bodies of two men killed by separate avalanches on Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.

Rescuers on Thursday located the bodies of two men killed by separate avalanches on Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.

Both were found in areas that were temporarily closed due to snow conditions.

A 26-year-old man snowboarding by himself in an area known as Secret Chutes near the Symphony Bowl on Whistler Mountain was buried in an avalanche that occurred around 3 p.m. Thursday. Due to snow conditions, the area was designated beyond boundary at the time, according to RCMP Sgt. Steve LeClair. The man was not a British Columbia resident.

The second skier was killed on Wednesday, but his body was not found until Thursday morning. Police received reports of an overdue skier on Blackcomb Mountain at about 8:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The 37-year-old Whistler resident was described as an experienced skier and was last seen earlier that day at about 2 p.m. in the Ruby Bowl area. Although usually open to the public, the area was closed at the time and was marked with signage indicating the avalanche hazard was high.

Police contacted the man’s cellphone provider and used the GPS function on his phone to determine he was still on the mountain. His body was found Thursday at about 9:30 a.m.

The names of the victims had not yet been released pending notification of next of kin.

The Whistler-area deaths occurred just days after eight snowmobilers were buried alive by a series of successive avalanches near Fernie in southeastern B.C.

 
 
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