LAKE LOUISE – A skier is dead after a fall in a couloir near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park Saturday (July 18).
RCMP confirmed the skier killed, an experienced backcountry skier, was a 30-year-old male from Calgary.
An eyewitness to the incident said it occurred around 10:30 a.m. in 3/4 Couloir, which is located in the Valley of the 10 Peaks
Former Canmore resident Paul Clarke was also headed up 3/4 Couloir to ski with a friend. He said a group of five was ahead of them, when one of them fell down the chute past him and his friend as they were ascending.
"We were making our way up, probably two hours behind them," Clarke said. "Something went wrong and he lost control. He tumbled about 400 metres to his death to the rocks on the fan below."
Parks Canada rescuers responded approximately 25 minutes later and Clarke said they remained where they were in the couloir because it was not safe to continue, or descend.
"Because of our situation of where we were in this couloir, we knew there was another person above us, which is a risk and we did not want to ski down [with the rescue]," he said.
It was a stark reminder for Clarke of the importance of being safe while recreating in the backcountry. He said the group appeared prepared, had the right gear and a satellite phone.
The Outlook reached out to Parks Canada media relations for Lake Louise for more details on the incident, but did not hear back prior to publishing this story.
This story will be updated as more details become available.