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One man dead after avalanche in back country

A skier triggered avalanche left one man dead in Revelstoke, B.C. on Friday as a group of heli-skiers took to the backcountry.

Ronald Gregory Sheardown, age 45, from Dubaï, a former Canadian from Stouffville, Ontario, was the victim of the heli-skiing avalanche on Friday, Dec. 30.

Shearman was with a group of eleven skiers and one guide heli-skiing with Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH), in the Selkirk Mountain range southeast of Revelstoke at the time of the avalanche.

The Revelstoke RCMP were advised of the avalanche-related death when Shearman was pronounced deceased on arrival at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke.

To date the investigation has determined that the guided group of heli-skiers with CMH, were heli-skiing in an area 32 kilometres southeast of Revelstoke and between 13:30 and 14:00 MST, when a skier triggered an avalanche while the group was on the “Selkirk” run located in the Holyk Creek drainage.

The avalanche was categorized as a class 2.5. The fracture line of the avalanche occurred at an elevation of approximately 1850 metres on a slope with a southeast aspect. The avalanche path was approximately 75 metres wide and ran for a distance of about 250 meters.

Four skiers were buried, three of which only partially and the fourth completely buried. The three were pulled free uninjured, with the fourth man being eventually located via his avalanche transceiver, the man was unresponsive when located.

CMH crews attended the location with physicians to provide emergency medical care, however their efforts were unsuccessful in reviving Shearman.  The reminder of the group was flown off the mountain by CMH, without further incident. 

The Revelstoke RCMP and BC Coroners Service are continuing their investigation into the man’s death.