Avalanche Near Mount Washington Injures Skier

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COURTENAY, B.C. — A search and rescue team has reached four skiers who were stranded by a small avalanche Tuesday about five kilometres west of Vancouver Island's Mount Washington.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Darren Lagan says all of the skiers are safe and that a decision will be made on the safest method of evacuation, adding, however, that an overnight camp is possible.

He says the four skiers, including an 18-year-old man who suffered a minor leg injury, were caught in the slide that took place near Moat and Circlet Lakes in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Lagan says the skiers called for help with a cellphone, which led to the activation of the Comox Valley Search and Rescue Team and the local RCMP.

Brent Curtain, a spokesman for the Mount Washington Ski Resort, says the avalanche occurred in the backcountry, outside the resort's boundaries.

Lagan earlier said heavy snow was expected to fall across the area during the evening hours and into the night.

CORRECTIONS: An earlier version stated that the avalanche happened on Mount Washington. It did, in fact, happen five kilometres west of Mount Washington. An earlier version also misspelled Lagan's name.

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