Yukon Heli Ski campers and staff were escorted through the avalanche zone on the South Klondike Highway on March 30. (Submitted/Naomi Danaway)

Yukon Heli Ski campers and staff were escorted through the avalanche zone on the South Klondike Highway on March 30. (Submitted/Naomi Danaway)

Youth safely returned from camp after avalanche highway closure

Campers returned home one day late due to road closures

Yukon youth at a heli-ski camp last weekend had an extended vacation after an avalanche blocked the highway home.

Yukon Heliski hosted its annual camp for Indigenous youth on March 27 and 28. The youth were camping at Tiny Town, which is a group of ski chalets south of Fraser, British Columbia.

Mikhaela Meznaric, a camp volunteer, said that the camp was scheduled to end on Sunday but an avalanche led to road closures on the South Klondike Highway, and parents were unable to pick up their children that evening as planned.

The eight participating youth stayed an extra night while the group waited for roads to be cleared.

“The youth stayed well, and we all stayed snug and safe (warm shelters, plenty of food, youth playing in the snow),” said Meznaric in an email.

Yukon Heliski was preparing to fly the kids home when the Department of Highways and Public Works agreed to open the road for one hour and escort the travellers through.

“We convoyed the students out and they were reunited with their parents last night around 6 p.m.,” Meznaric said on March 30.

The South Klondike Highway was still closed on Tuesday afternoon, according to Yukon 511.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com

Avalanche

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