- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2003

REVELSTOKE, British Columbia, Jan. 20 (UPI) — An avalanche swept over a group of skiers — believed to be Americans — in Canada's western backcountry Monday, leaving seven dead and four missing, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The deadly slide struck shortly before noon at the Durand Glacier near the town of Revelstoke, a mountain area of British Columbia north of Vancouver that is popular with skiers who use helicopters to land in remote areas of fresh snow.

The CBC said the identities of the skiers were not immediately known, although a spokesman for the British Columbia Ambulance Service said the victims were Americans. One survivor was reportedly hospitalized in stable condition.

According to Canadian Avalanche Association, the danger of snow slides above the tree line was considered to be "considerable" through Monday night following a weekend of warmer temperatures that weakened the snow pack.

"Be alert for remote triggering and continue to be vigilant about avoiding those tempting big steep alpine faces," the agency said in a statement issued during the weekend. "Any avalanche triggered on the older weaknesses has the potential to grow rapidly and could be difficult to avoid."

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