The BC Coroners Service and Avalanche Canada is issuing a joint warning to be prepared in the backcountry following last week’s tragedy near McBride.
Five experienced snowmobilers hailing from Alberta lost their lives after an avalanche came crashing down near McBride on Friday.
Avalanche Canada’s Gilles Valade says the victims were skilled and properly equipped.
But he says 17 snowmobilers caught in the same slide is concerning.
“We don’t know the confirmed cause of the avalanche but certainly statistically proven 90% plus of avalanches that involved people are caused by somebody in their party, or another party.”
He says while some people may feel like they know the backcountry, there’s no substitute for real hands-on experience.
“We emphasize get training, we are talking like a two-day training course, not an avalanche awareness event you might go to, but a real course.”
80% of avalanche fatalities nationwide occur in BC.
This year six people have lost their lives- all in this province.
More information about training can be found at avalanche.ca