Crevasses claim two lives

Two men died after falling into crevasses during the past week. On Sunday, heli-skiing guide Leonhard Steiner was killed while skiing on the Swanson Glacier, about 65 kilometres southwest of Atlin, BC.

Two men died after falling into crevasses during the past week.

On Sunday, heli-skiing guide Leonhard Steiner was killed while skiing on the Swanson Glacier, about 65 kilometres southwest of Atlin, BC.

Steiner, a 47-year-old Austrian citizen who owned and operated the Atlin-based Klondike Heli-Skiing, was out for the day with another guide and a group of four skiers.

Around 1:30 p.m., when Steiner stopped to take a photo, the snow gave out beneath him and he fell into a deep crevasse.

The group of skiers was immediately returned to Atlin, while the remaining guide stayed on site to assist rescuers.

A Klondike Heli-Skiing employee joined the guide shortly after and the two conducted a descent into the 35-metre-deep crevasse to attempt a rescue.

Unfortunately, Steiner had died in the fall.

The crevasse was only 1.5 metres wide and contained ice overhangs, making it difficult to retrieve the body.

Atlin Search and Rescue along with a Parks Canada rescue team were on route to the scene when poor weather forced them to turn around.

The recovery of Steiner’s body has been delayed until weather conditions improve.

On Thursday of last week, Leonard Watkins also fell into a crevasse.

The 52-year-old resident of Maple Ridge, BC, was out snowmobiling with a dozen friends in the area near Pleasant Camp, just south of the BC-Yukon border.

Watkins was high-marking at the time and, losing control, was forced to abandon his sled. When he jumped off he disappeared beneath the snow.

At 2:25 p.m., the rest of the group used a SPOT satellite tracking device to put out the call for help.

Four members of a Parks Canada rescue team made it to the scene by helicopter and attempted to rescue Watkins.

The team descended into the ice and made it within 10 metres of the body, but weren’t able to get any closer.

However, they were able to assess that Watkins had died in the fall.

Although there is hope that both bodies will eventually be recovered, it’s not safe to do so at this time, according to Shane DeMeyer of the BC Coroner’s Office.

“We can’t risk somebody’s life to retrieve somebody who is already deceased.”

Contact Chris Oke at chriso@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 5, 2021.… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. They formally announced that as of Nov. 20, anyone entering the territory (including Yukoners returning home) would be required to self-isolate with the exception of critical service workers, those exercising treaty rights and those living in B.C. border towns
Vaccinated people won’t have to self-isolate in the Yukon after May 25

Restaurants and bars will also be able to return to full capacity at the end of the month.

An RV pulls into Wolf Creek Campground to enjoy the first weekend of camping season on April 30, 2021. John Tonin/Yukon News
Opening weekend of Yukon campgrounds a ‘definite success’

The territorial campgrounds opened on April 30. Wolf Creek was the busiest park seeing 95 per cent of sites filled.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: rent caps and vaccines

To Sandy Silver and Kate White Once again Kate White and her… Continue reading

Most Read