Skier dies on backcountry trail in Kananaskis Country

A B.C. man skiing on a backcountry trail in Kananaskis Country has died after he was separated from his friends in a whiteout and hit a patch of low snow that pitched him onto some rocks.

Officials say the lack of snow and other related hazards caused the incident

The fatality occurred near the Robertson glacier, which runs down the divide between Mount Sir Douglas and Mount Robertson on the Alberta-B.C. boundary. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

A skier has died on a backcountry trail in Kananaskis Country.

It happened near the Robertson Glacier on Monday.

RCMP say the 40-year-old man, from Invermere, British Columbia, was skiing with three friends when a whiteout hit and the group was separated.

The Kananaskis Country Public Safety Team, which is a rescue service that operates through Alberta Environment and Parks, says it responded to the fatality around 2:30 p.m.

Alpine Helicopters also responded.

Officials say the man's skis bottomed out and that due to low snow coverage and other related hazards, he was pitched forward into a rocky area, where he suffered severe trauma.

The man was not wearing a helmet.

There is only 10 to 30 centimetres of snow at the treeline, which the rescue team says increases the chance of hitting something and getting injured.

The team also warns that members witnessed loose dry avalanches in that area on Monday and suspect slab development will be an ongoing issue.

"Consequences of being caught in even a small slide would result in injury due to the lack of snow and the chance of a ride over rocky terrain," said the rescue team.

With files from the Canadian Press


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