Tragedy Averted After Snowmobiler Caught in Weekend Avalanche North of Terrace

A Terrace Search and Rescue official says there's no doubt in his mind we'd be dealing with a tragedy this morning, if it wasn't for the quick actions of five snowmobilers north of Terrace yesterday.

Dave Jephson says the snowmobilers were in "two different parties -- they were snowmobiling up the South Douglas area, out by Rosswood, when they observed a lone individual go past them and start to head up one of the chutes that everybody uses to access the top of the mountain, and while sitting at the bottom in the creek area, they witnessed the avalanche start, which they believe was triggered by the individual."

Jephson says the man buried had an emergency receiver, but it wasn't attached to him and was simply on the sled, so it did not activate, making it extremely difficult for his rescuers to find him.

"They didn't know where to start, there was no debris field, no evidence of where the individual was, so ultimately they made the decision to start probing, which would have been a daunting task, and on the third probe, they hit what they believed was a person -- sure enough, they started digging down and they located the individual about three-four feet under the snow!" said Jephson.

He says while the rescuers might not consider themselves heroes, they certainly deserve that moniker, as there was a significant risk of further avalanche activity.