Avalanche Kills Maxim Arsenault During Filming At Haines Pass, BC Near the Alaska/Yukon/BC Border
Haines Pass, British Columbia – At approximately 10:40 AM on April 20, 2016, Whistler based big mountain skier Maximum Arsenault was killed in an avalanche while filming with a four man crew in the Northwest Ranges near Pleasant Camp Recreation Site near Mineral Mountain northwest of Haines Pass in northern BC.
After snowmobiling to a remote site near the Pleasant Camp Recreation Site, Arsenault triggered a small, size 1, loose dry slab while skiing a steep rib feature at approximately 1600 meters on a NE aspect. Avalanche.ca reports that “Possibly a very thin soft slab may have been involved as well as loose snow avalanche.”
Arsenault fell off of a 30-foot cliff into a terrain trap that was flat and was buried by the avalanche. Philippe Brient, of Atlin Search and Rescue, says that the avalanche was “most likely triggered” by Arsenault (CBC.ca). Avalanche.ca also reports that the avalanche was skier triggered.
Authorities were notified about the avalanche on Wednesday morning through an international response notification. Search and Rescue from Atlin, British Columbia responded to the scene by helicopter because the incident happened in BC. Atlin is about 167 km SE of the accident site. They landed on a nearby glacier and traveled on foot for about 15 minutes to reach the accident site. Arsenault’s ski partners were able to located and dig him out before search and rescue arrived. Unfortunately, Arsenault died on the scene.
Haines Pass is a popular backcountry ski zone located in northern British Columbia between Haines Junction, Yukon and Haines, Alaska.
We will try to update this post as more information becomes available.
Map marks location of Mineral Mountain
Maxim Arsenault 2015 Season Edit
According to Avalanche.ca, there have been 15 avalanche fatalities in Canada during the 2015/2016 season.