This story has been updated with new information added at the bottom.
A skier has died after being caught in a significant avalanche while ski touring out of helicopter-accessed Sorcerer Lodge, located about 25 kilometres northwest of Rogers Pass.
The avalanche struck in the Ventigo Lake area west of the lodge at about 4:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Mar. 10.
A group described as very experienced skiers were travelling on a route between the lodge and Mount Iconoclast when the avalanche hit. It buried the skier in about 1.5 metres of snow. The skier was recovered about 30 minutes after the slide, and was transported to hospital in Golden, B.C.
A spokesperson from a communications company didn’t have further information on details such as the size of the avalanche, rescue efforts or how many people were involved in the incident.
The group had been touring for several days while based at the lodge.
In a media statement, Sorcerer Lodge spokesperson Tannis Dakin said staff were “shaken and deeply saddened” by the incident which involved a skier who was well known to them.
“Our hearts go out to the family of our friend and we will do all we can to support them at this very difficult time,” Dakin said.
Golden RCMP have not released the name of the victim pending notification of family members.
Update, Mar. 11, 7 p.m.
Although an official confirmation has not been released, several public sources have confirmed the victim is Robson Gmoser, a popular ski guide and son of heliskiing pioneer and Canadian Mountain Holidays company founder Hans Gmoser.
Robson, 45, lived near Canmorea and owned and operated the Battle Abbey backcountry lodge in the Selkirk Mountains.
Reports indicate he was with a guide in training when he was struck and buried by a category three avalanche. After he was extricated, efforts to revive him were not successful.
In a statement to the Backcountry Lodges Association of British Columbia Facebook page, executive director Brad Harrison said the backcountry community had lost a friend.
“To say that the backcountry family has been tragically hit by this news would be a grave understatement,” Harrison said. “We have lost one of our own and Robson’s input, advice and support will be greatly missed.”
Harrison noted Gmoser’s service to the organization and said it was a sad day for the community.