Revelstoke avalanche victim died helping another rider: widow

The snowmobiler who was killed in an avalanche near Revelstoke, B.C. on Saturday has been identified as Chris McCoy from Sylvan Lake, Alta.

Chris McCoy, 36, was unconscious when found but died soon after

Kathy McCoy said her husband Chris was passionate about sledding. (Courtesy of Kathy McCoy)

The Sylvan Lake man killed in a Revelstoke avalanche Saturday died helping another snowmobiler, his widow says.

Chris McCoy was among a group of four snowmobilers from Alberta on Boulder Mountain when the avalanche struck around 2:30 p.m. MT.

Chris McCoy had turned his passion for snowmobiling into a career. He had recently become the general manager of Cycle Works, a store that sells snow machines, ATVs and motorcycles in Red Deer. (Courtesy of Kathy McCoy)

He had apparently gotten off his snowmobile to help another rider who was stuck when the avalanche hit.

McCoy, who had just turned 36 on Friday, was unconscious when found but later died from his injuries.

A second man was also caught but survived with non-life threatening injuries.

McCoy was the general manager of Cycle Works in Red Deer and his widow Kathy told CBC News he lived for snowmobiling.

"That was his passion, that was his life," she said. "That was what he lived and breathed."

McCoy had been in Valemount, B.C., testing new snowmobiles for work before moving on to Revelstoke.

Danger rating for area 'high'

RCMP say he and the three other snowmobilers were all equipped with the appropriate gear and beacons.

However, the area has experienced recent snowfall, with newer snow sitting on top of a weak layer.

These conditions prompted the Canadian Avalanche Centre to update their danger ratings for alpine and treeline terrain to high and for below treeline to considerable.

It's not clear at this point which terrain the snowmobilers were in when the avalanche struck.

This is the second avalanche death in B.C. this year. Last month, a snowmobiler died in an avalanche south of Valemount.

Three snowmobilers were killed and 32 were injured in 2010 after being caught in an avalanche on Boulder Mountain while watching the Big Iron Shootout, an annual snowmobiling event. 

MAP: Boulder Mountain near Revelstoke, B.C.