Missing persons in Pemberton backcountry ends in two tragic deaths

Police Dog Services

2020-12-29 14:38 PST

On December 28, 2020, at approximately 5:22 PM Pemberton RCMP were notified of two missing snow bikers in the area of Goat Creek, Pemberton BC. Police learned that back country guides in the area had reported a fresh ‘crown’ along the side of the Goat Peak, indicating that an avalanche had been triggered. The guides further advised the avalanche debris area was 100m wide by 200m long and they were unable to locate any active beacons in the area or determine if the snow bikes made it to the other side of the avalanche debris due to the terrain and darkness. Pemberton Search and Rescue were notified; however, due to nightfall and the risk to searchers the search was set for first light.

On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at approximately 8:30 AM Pemberton Search and Rescue, Blackcomb Helicopters, and an RCMP K9 unit began searching for the missing snow bikers.
Search crews were able to locate parts of the snow bikes in the debris field and then conduct a beacon search in the immediate area locating a signal. At approximately 10:00 am, two deceased males were located within the avalanche debris field. The BC Coroners Service was notified and is investigating. The Pemberton RCMP will not be releasing the identities of the recovered individuals.

This was the second activation of the Pemberton Search and Rescue in 24 hours. The other instance was reported earlier at approximately 3:15 pm. Pemberton RCMP received a call from an international emergency centre, advising they received a notification from an emergency activation device in the area of Cerise Creek Trail Head, Pemberton. Pemberton RCMP learned that an individual had activated his distress beacon after becoming injured. Pemberton Search and Rescue were activated and were able to locate the individual by helicopter and extract him to health services.

The Pemberton and Whistler RCMP would like to remind others thinking of heading to similar areas to carry proper equipment, be aware of local conditions and avalanche risk, and ensure someone is aware of the their location and plan.

Released by

S/Sgt. Paul Hayes

North Zone Commander
Sea to Sky Detachment RCMP Whistler/Pemberton
4315 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC, V0N 1B49
Office: 604-932-3044

Email: paul.hayes@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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