Skier dies in avalanche

A 29-year-old Whitehorse man died on the weekend after getting swept away by an avalanche in Kluane National Park. Jan Galac and three of his friends set out for a three-day backcountry ski trip in the Observation Mountain area on Saturday.

A 29-year-old Whitehorse man died on the weekend after getting swept away by an avalanche in Kluane National Park.

Honza Galac and three of his friends set out for a three-day backcountry ski trip in the Observation Mountain area on Saturday.

Sunday, while crossing a slope in a staggered formation, the group of skiers triggered an avalanche.

Galac was second in line when the avalanche hit. He was swept downhill along with a skier who was following behind him, said RCMP Sgt. Don Rogers.

The other two men located their friends, but couldn’t revive Galac.

It took about 27 minutes to find his body, said Kluane resource conservation supervisor Richard Cherepak.

The other skier likely didn’t get buried and was able to ski out of the way of the avalanche, he said.

The group was made up of experienced backcountry skiers.

They were carrying necessary equipment, like avalanche beacons and probes, said Rogers.

Galac is originally from the Czech Republic.

Tuesday, a helicopter was flown into Kluane Park to retrieve Galac’s body. An avalanche expert, Parks representatives, RCMP and the Yukon Coroner Service were all aboard.

The case is now under investigation by the Yukon coroner.

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