The two men killed by an avalanche while heli-skiing near Revelstoke, BC, on Monday have been identified as brothers and business leaders from Pennsylvania.
Timothy and Jonathan Kinsley were near Mount McCrae, in an area known as Chocolate Bunnies, with a heli-skiing guide when the avalanche struck and buried them in snow.
The three men were airlifted to Kelowna and rushed to the hospital, but the Kinsleys could not be saved. Their guide, an employee of CMH Heli-Skiing, remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition.
Timothy Kinsley was the president of Kinsley Properties, a Pennsylvania real estate developer, while his brother was an executive at Kinsley Enterprises, a management company that oversees their family’s business assets.
In a statement, the Kinsley family said they are “deeply heartbroken” by the news of the brothers’ deaths.
“We know their presence as dedicated leaders in our organization and the community will be immensely missed by many,” the statement said. “We are grateful for your love, understanding and prayers as our entire Kinsley family manages this loss.”
The avalanche left two of the heli-skiers fully buried and the third partially buried, according to CMH Heli-Skiing. The group had transceivers that helped crews to locate them in the aftermath of the slide.
The outdoor adventuring company offered condolences to the Kinsleys’ loved ones in a statement posted online Tuesday.
“The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are our family,” it said. “It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that we feel and the sadness that is shared by our guests, their families and all of our staff.”
The incident follows several other fatal avalanches recorded across the province in recent weeks, during a period of heightened danger in the backcountry due to a fragile snowpack.
On Saturday, a snowmobile died after being struck by an avalanche near Valemont. Earlier this month, two off-duty officers from the Nelson Police Department were caught in a slide near the community of Kaslo.
One of them, Wade Tittemore, died at the scene. He was posthumously promoted in rank from constable to detective.
The other officer, Const. Mathieu Nolet, was hospitalized for more than a week before succumbing to his injuries.
Forecasters have warned that British Columbia is likely experiencing its most dangerous avalanche season in decades, with a uniquely unstable snowpack resulting from last year’s historic draft and record-breaking winter storms.
Up-to-date information on avalanche risks is available on the Avalanche Canada website.