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article imageSnowmobiler falls 30 metres down hole near Pemberton to his death

By Marcus Hondro     Mar 22, 2016 in Environment
Tragedy struck a group of 10 snowmobilers Saturday upon the Appa Glacier near Pemberton when one of their party plunged into a "moulin" in the terrain, falling 30 metres to his death. The rest of the party did not run into the hole and were unharmed.
The 53-year-old man from the Seattle area was likely unable to see the moulin and was unaware as he snowmobiled into it and fell. A moulin is described by as "a nearly vertical shaft or cavity worn in a glacier by surface water falling through a crack in the ice."
Those on scene said this particular moulin was four metres by three metres wide. A 30 metres fall is a fall of nearly 100 feet, or the equivalent of the entire height of a 10-storey building.
When his fellow snowmobilers realized what happened they sent up a flare and a nearby heli-ski helicopter quickly responded to the call. RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair told Canada's CBC News that crew of the heli-ski chopper immediately went to work.
"Two heli-ski guides set up a rappel system and one was lowered into the crevasse and was able to locate the subject and confirm he was deceased," said LeClair. "Search and Rescue were activated and they attended with the police and coroner by helicopter, and they were able to recover the person (body)."
Sgt. LeClair said neither alcohol nor inexperience appear to have been a factor in this tragedy.
There were three other mishaps from a period running from Thursday to Sunday that Whistler Search and Rescue attended. Those other three did not involve death but injuries. A concern, Sgt. LeClair said, is that it "seems it's trending that snowmobile incidents are becoming the new norm."
RCMP have not released the name of the deceased man.
More about snowmobiler dies, pemberton snowmobile tragedy, Rcmp, whislter search and rescue
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