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Alberta avalanche victims remembered as 'seasoned outdoor enthusiasts' in Boston

Two Americans killed in an avalanche while snowshoeing near Lake Louise, Alta., in March are being remembered as "young rising stars" by their colleagues at a prestigious Boston hospital.

Victor Fedorov and Lauren Zeitels died while snowshoeing near Lake Louise

Victor Fedorov and Lauren Zeitels, both remembered by their colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for their devotion and compassion, were killed while snowshoeing near Lake Louise, Alta., in March. (Left, Victor Fedorov/LinkedIn; right, Lauren Zeitels/LinkedIn)

Two Americans killed in an avalanche while snowshoeing near Lake Louise, Alta., in March are being remembered as "young rising stars" by their colleagues at a prestigious Boston hospital.

Officials at Massachusetts General Hospital said Monday that memorial funds have been established in honour of Victor Fedorov and Lauren Zeitels and that memorial services are being planned.

The hospital said the 32-year-old internal medicine residents were "seasoned outdoor enthusiasts" who embodied the "devotion, compassion and brilliance that represent the best of medicine and humanity."

The two had been snowshoeing near Lake Louise, Alta., and were last seen around March 11.

The two snowshoers were killed in an avalanche here on the slopes of Mount Hector, about 20 kilometres north of Lake Louise. (Parks Canada)

The pair were reported missing on March 14 after they failed to check out of their accommodation in Field, B.C., about 30 kilometres west of the hamlet of Lake Louise.

RCMP officers found a vehicle that had been rented by the missing pair at a trailhead north of Lake Louise on Highway 93, near an area where there had recently been an avalanche.

Tracks led into avalanche debris but not out

A recovery effort led by Parks Canada found snowshoe tracks leading into avalanche debris on the slopes of Mount Hector, but not leaving it.

When they flew over the debris, they picked up signals from two avalanche transceivers, which are devices carried by some in the backcountry that give off a radio pulse to help rescuers find them if they're buried in snow.

However, the avalanche risk was still too high for rescuers to search the debris for three days. 

After conducting avalanche control, visitor safety specialists with Parks Canada were able to search the area on March 17 and recovered their bodies.

Zeitels grew up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Fedorov was born in Moscow and grew up in Richmond, Va.

With files from CBC News

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