Brothers die in slide
American businessmen identified as victims of fatal avalanche near Revelstoke
MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ firstname.lastname@example.org @Michaelrdrguez
Two brothers and businessmen from the U.S. were killed in an avalanche south of the B.C. town of Revelstoke on Monday.
CMH Heli-skiing announced Tuesday that two clients were buried and a guide was partially buried by the afternoon slide near Mount Mccrae. The two clients were transported by air to hospital in Kelowna, where both later died. The guide remained in stable condition at Kelowna General Hospital on Tuesday.
“The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are our family. It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that we feel and the sadness that is shared by our guests, their families and all of our staff,” CMH president Rob Rohn said in a written statement on the company's website.
Family has identified brothers Timothy and Jonathan Kinsley, two Pennsylvania businessmen, as the victims. Both were proprietors of the family's Kinsley Enterprises, where Jonathan was an executive and Timothy headed the real estate division, Kinsley Properties.
In a written statement issued Tuesday, the family asked for privacy as they continue to process the heartbreaking news.
“We know their presence as dedicated leaders in our organization and the community will be immensely missed by many and we are grateful for your love, understanding and prayers as our entire Kinsley family manages this loss,” it read.
The B.C. RCMP and the province's coroner's office are investigating. RCMP say that upon officers' arrival, the victims had already been located and were being taken to hospital.
“Ultimately, the efforts to save the lives of the two skiers were unsuccessful,” said Revelstoke RCMP Sgt. Chris Dodds.
Five people have died in the B.C. backcountry so far this year due to avalanches, and forecasters have issued multiple warnings about treacherous mountain conditions this winter.
The two Monday deaths follow that of two Nelson Police service officers — both formerly of the Calgary Police Service — who died in a Kootenays-area avalanche on Jan. 9, and a snowmobiler from Grande Prairie who was killed in another slide close
to Valemount, B.C., on Saturday.
Another avalanche near Cherryville, east of Vernon, B.C., sent one person to hospital Monday. On Tuesday, the B.C. government urged the public to be prepared and “extremely cautious” in the backcountry right now, and Avalanche Canada again warned of a “highly unusual and unpredictable snowpack.”
“The complication with this snowpack setup is that the layers are deep enough that we are less likely to see clues of instability, like nearby avalanche activity, `whumpfing' or cracking snow,” said Ryan Buhler, a
forecast supervisor with Avalanche Canada. “However, despite the lack of obvious clues, there is serious potential for large, human-triggered avalanches.”
Avalanche Canada urges those intending to head into the backcountry to carry a transceiver, shovel and probe, and have the training to use them, and ensure they check forecasts and stay away from steep slopes and other avalanche-prone terrains.