A snowmobiler is believed dead and another is missing following a pair of avalanches in northern B.C. and the North Okanagan yesterday.

A group of 14 snowmobilers were in a remote mountainous area south of Chetwynd at about 2 p.m. when one avalanche occurred, said North District RCMP.

The danger of further slides prevented attempts to retrieve the dead snowmobiler, whose identity has not been released. The body will not be recovered until the area is deemed safe.
About an hour earlier, three snowmobilers were caught in an avalanche on Mara Mountain, northeast of Enderby. Two riders were able to escape, but left their friend behind.

A search-and-rescue group from Salmon Arm were aiding RCMP in the search.
On Saturday, an American snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche near Terrace on Thursday became the 11th person in two weeks to die in a slide in B.C.

The man’s death came the same day Public Safety Minister John van Dongen announced Avalanche Awareness Days on Grouse Mountain.

The 39-year-old victim, whose name hasn’t been released, was buried in an avalanche on Alice Mountain on Thursday, and died in a Washington State hospital on Saturday.

“Sixty five per cent of all avalanche fatalities across the country happen in B.C.,” said van Dongen. “We need to continue to make the public aware of avalanche risks and how to avoid and mitigate those risks.”

Events at Grouse Mountain included presentations about trip preparation, training, sport-specific safety gear and survival tips.

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