Lake Louise, Alberta – Authorities believe an American couple in their 30’s from Boston, Massachusetts were killed in an avalanche while snowshoeing near Lake Louise in Alberta.
The couple was last seen on Saturday morning. When they did not check out of Truffle Pigs Lodge in Field, British Columbia on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, authorities were notified (Calgary.CTVNews.ca). The couple’s rental vehicle was found parked on the side of the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) in Banff National Park about 20 minutes north of Lake Louise.
Authorities believe the couple went snowshoeing in the area between Herbert Lake and Bow Summit (GlobalNews.ca). On Friday, March 17, 2017 rescuers recovered the bodies on the lower slopes of Mount Hector near Hector Creek where they were buried in avalanche debris. Calgary.CTVNews.ca notes that that area of Banff National Park was closed.
Tania Peters of Park Canada was quoted “There was snow shoe tracks going into the avalanche debris and none coming out,” (Calgary.CTVNews.ca). The avalanche danger at the time of the incident was rated “high.”
Helicopters were able to fly over the area and picked up signals from 2 avalanche transceivers. It is thought that the couple is buried in avalanche debris. Rescue efforts have been hampered by bad weather and high avalanche danger in the region. When deemed safe, a ground recovery effort will begin. (UPDATE BELOW)
Families have been notified, but the victims have not been identified to the public.
We will try to update this post when more information is available.
- The bodies of the 2 missing snowshoers were recovered on Friday morning. They were buried in 6 to 8 feet of snow. They were equipped with the proper avalanche safety equipment. (BostonGlobe.com).
- CalgaryHerald.com posted a photo of the avalanche accident site near Hector Creek and below Mt. Andromache. The victims were both 32-year-old. Rescuers located their bodies with 10 minutes of reaching the site and were able to recover the bodies within an hour and a half.
- CBC.ca notes that Parks Canada conducted avalanche control to ensure that specialists could reach the site on Sunday morning. They also posted photos indicated the burial locations on Mount Hector.
UPDATE 3/29: BostonGlobe.com identified the victim as Victor Fedorov, 32, and Lauren Zeitels, 32. Both were doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.