Two heli-skiers killed, one injured in avalanche near Revelstoke

Two guests at CMH Nomads died in an avalanche while heli-skiing on January 23 near Mount McCrae outside of Revelstoke. One other guide caught in the slide was partially buried and was transported to Kelowna General Hospital. UPDATE: Two American brothers have been identified as individuals killed in the incident.

File photo: A huge avalanche triggered east of Revelstoke on the Trans-Canada Highway at the Lanark snowshed Feb. 9, 2018. Photo: Transportation BC.

A guide and two guests were caught in an avalanche while heliskiing in the early afternoon on January 23 near Revelstoke, resulting in the death of two people and injuries to one.

The avalanche was at Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) Nomads near the Alkolkolex tenure southeast of Revelstoke. In a statement, CMH said the two guests involved in the incident did not survive.

In an email to Mountaineer staff, CMH Communications Staff said that at approximately 2:46 p.m. on January 23, there was an avalanche at CMH Nomads near Mount McCrae outside of Revelstoke.

Three individuals were caught in the slide, two fully buried and one partially buried. The individuals were located by their avalanche transceivers and extracted from the snow. 

CMH said, “guides attended to two guests who were unresponsive. The two guests were flown to Kelowna airport and transported to Kelowna General Hospital, where both guests were pronounced deceased. The third person, a CMH guide, is in stable condition and has been transferred by ground to Kelowna General Hospital from Revelstoke.”

In a statement, the Revelstoke RCMP said they were advised of the avalanche incident near an area known as “Chocolate Bunnies.”

Revelstoke RCMP said that once they were made aware, all three skiers caught in the avalanche had been located and were already being transported via helicopter for emergency medical assistance to local hospitals.

“Immediate action was taken on scene by all involved to locate the victims, provide first aid and transport by helicopter to hospital. Ultimately, the efforts to save the lives of the two skiers were unsuccessful,” said Revelstoke RCMP Detachment Commander Sergeant Chris Dodds. “The third skier involved remains at hospital in serious condition.”

CMH posted a statement on its website addressing the incident: “The thousands of guests who ski with us each winter are our family. 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,” Rob Rohn, President & COO. “For 58 years and over 10 million guided runs, our primary focus remains on the safety of our guests and staff. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased.”

An investigation of the event is being coordinated by the BC Coroner’s Office and the RCMP. 

The incident adds to the list of fatal avalanche incidents in Western B.C. since the start of 2023.

Previously this winter, avalanches have claimed the lives of two individuals near Kaslo, and most recently, a snowmobiler was caught and killed in an avalanche near Valemount.

Avalanche Canada has warned that this year’s snowpack is different from previous years, creating problems in the snowpack that make avalanches especially unpredictable. Avalanche Canada says that some professionals suggest a weak snowpack, like the one occurring this season, is only seen every ten to twenty years.

For more avalanche information, see

UPDATE: Brothers Jonathan and Timothy Kinsley, 59 and 57, were identified as the victims killed in the avalanche south of Revelstoke on January 23. The Kinsley brothers were from York, Pennsylvania and owners of prominent construction and real estate development companies.

In a statement, the Kinsley family asked for privacy while they grieve the loss of Jon and Tim.

“We are deeply heartbroken to share news of the sudden and tragic passing of Timothy and Jonathan Kinsley while on a skiing trip in British Columbia,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our entire Kinsley family is still processing this heartbreaking news of their deaths and respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.