B.C. skier killed in 'Death Trap' avalanche near Lake Louise
Trevor Sexsmith was climbing toward Mount Victoria with a friend when the pair decided to turn back
An avid skier from Golden, B.C. died Sunday after an avalanche pushed him off a very large cliff near Lake Louise, CBC News has confirmed.
Trevor Sexsmith, 27, was with a friend ascending Mount Victoria when the pair decided to turn back due to weather conditions.
Trevor's older brother, Brian Sexsmith, says skiing was Trevor's passion.
"He was an avid skier, it really was his life," Brian told CBC News in a telephone interview from his Ontario home.
"Between skiing and his friends, it all really revolved around skiing and a passion for skiing. He really saw a lot of the Rockies that most people don't see."
Brian said being outside on a mountain fulfilled Trevor.
"I often called it an addiction. It really was. I think everyone needs some sort of an addiction in their life, a good addiction obviously," Brian said.
The avalanche occurred as the two men were heading down, trapping one of them, a Parks Canada spokesperson told CBC News.
"We suspect that the first skier triggered a slab avalanche that we class as a size one. It has a crown that was probably 20- or 30-metres wide and 10- to 15-centimetres deep," Tim Haggarty said.
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"This small avalanche was able to push that skier over a very large cliff, 200- to 300-foot cliff."
Trevor's partner was able to reach the viewpoint trail above the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, but Parks Canada safety specialists could not conduct a search on Sunday because of strong winds.
There was no avalanche warning in effect in the area.
The recovery operation began early Monday, and searchers located the body on the Banff side of the approach to Abbot Pass, which separates Alberta's Banff National Park from British Columbia's Yoho National Park.
That route to the pass has been nicknamed "The Death Trap" due to the high risk of avalanches and other overhead hazards in the area.
Haggarty said the survivor was not injured and is doing well given the circumstances.
"He is certainly a very caring individual, and he is definitely going to miss the companionship of his friend here," Haggarty said.
"He went through quite an ordeal, and I think he should hold his head high. He did very well to do what he did."
Brian says the response from Trevor's friends has been amazing.
"Today, it has been very apparent with a lot of people calling me. I had no idea how many people he had touched out in B.C. Obviously a lot of respect in the community," Brian explained.
Brian said the incident could be a bit of a wake up call for fellow skiers.
"I am sure it is going to be a little devastating for a lot of them. 'If that can happen to Trevor, well, 'what can happen to me'?" Brian said.
"Which is probably a good thing for a lot of these guys."
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