Gabriel Mironov and son Oliver identified as avalanche victims

The Montreal father and son who died in an Alberta avalanche have been identified as Gabriel Mironov, 33, and his son, Oliver, 11.

Father says Gabriel had brilliant mind and beautiful heart to thank for his numerous successes

The avalanche happened on Mount Fairview in Lake Louise, Alta., as seen in the background. (Abbas Somji/CBC)

The Montreal father and son who died in an Alberta avalanche have been identified as Gabriel Mironov, 33, and his son, Oliver, 11.

The pair were last seen on March 9, when they rented a toboggan from the Chateau Lake Louise hotel. They were  reported missing five days later on March 14, after failing to check out of their hotel room.

"He was a remarkable human being," Don Mironov, Gabriel's father, told CBC News over the phone from his home in Franklin, Ga. "Everyone should have a son like my son."

The RCMP had requested the help of Parks Canada search and rescue personnel to help look for the two over the weekend.

A Parks Canada dog handler found the victims buried under debris at the base of Mount Fairview on the shore of Lake Louise, off the usual tobogganing paths.

"We do have a lot of users that go for a walk or travel up and down the right-hand side [of the lake], but these folks had wandered over to the left hand side of the lake under some fairly steep slopes," said Bill Hunt, a resource conservation manager with Parks Canada.

Remarkable accomplishments

Gabriel was born in St. Stephen, N.B., and lived for a time in St. Peter's Bay, P.E.I.

Mironov said his son, who started his first company at 15, was driven to succeed despite not having access to financial resources.

“It’s like my son, in his whole life, had a star in front of him that he would follow, and I don’t know how common that is,” Mironov said.
Gabriel Mironov studied engineering in Montreal and founded two companies in the wind power industry. (Photo courtesy of PH Windsolutions Inc.)

“He had a brilliant mind. Many people have a brilliant mind, but he had a beautiful heart, and it’s his heart that caused him to be successful.”

Gabriel studied engineering at McGill University in Montreal, but didn't complete his degree. Instead, he travelled to Denmark, where he worked for a wind power company.

He went on to work around the world, founding two companies in the wind power industry. 

The elder Mironov said his son always intended to return to McGill finish his degree, but he hadn't yet had the chance.

Oliver attended Selwyn House School in Westmount and loved animation, having posted a number of videos online of Lego-based animations he made.

Nigel Penney met Oliver through his work as the director of the Westmount Science summer camp. Oliver attended in 2012.

"He was extremely bright, a very inquiring child and clearly one of the leading kids among the gang," Penney said.

He said he didn't interact much with Gabriel, but from what he could see, the pair were very close and seemed to have a very loving relationship.

Mironov said their deaths meant the end of their family line: Gabriel was an only child, as was his son Oliver.  

"It's a very difficult thing [to lose a child], no matter what you believe, no matter what you know," Mironov said.