VANCOUVER - An Edmonton man who died in an avalanche in eastern British Columbia on Friday was remembered as the kind of person who could make people smile and forget about their problems.
A friend and posts on a Facebook memorial page identified the man who died just outside of the community of Golden as Shane Schroeder. Police did not immediately confirm the victim's identity.
Police and search-and-rescue teams responded to a call from a rider who was with Schroeder at the time of the avalanche, which happened in an out-of-bounds area near the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, police said.
Scott Dougherty, a friend of Schroeder from Edmonton, said Schroeder had a knack for making people feel better.
"No matter what, even if you were down or having a bad day, Shane could just make you smile, laugh and make you forget about any problems," Dougherty said in a phone interview.
"To explain him would take too many words — he was that incredible of a person."
Matt Mosteller, a spokesman for the resort, said Schroeder was airlifted to a hospital in Golden. Police said he was pronounced dead the same day.
A person who identified himself as Alex Lee posted on a memorial page on Facebook that he was with Schroeder during the incident.
"Everybody needs to know that he saved my life," wrote Lee of his friend.
He did not give any further details on the page.
Dougherty said Schroeder was an avid snowboarder with six to eight years of experience and lived for the mountains.
Every year he would take time off to ride, he said.
Dougherty, who met Schroeder while working at an electrical company, said friends are establishing an avalanche-awareness program to honour his memory.
Stickers commemorating Schroeder are scheduled to be printed Monday and available the following day, according to the memorial page.
The goal is to put as many stickers as possible on ski resorts throughout North America as a homage to the rider, posts on the page said.
Schroeder was well liked by all who knew him, Dougherty said.
"Everybody who met Shane would automatically become best friends with the guy because you never met someone like him," he said. "It's a horrible loss to our world because if our society all lived like Shane we would be in a better place."
The Canadian Avalanche Centre’s website lists the danger level in the Purcell Mountains as considerable in alpine areas, meaning that human-triggered avalanches are likely.
The BC Coroners said it continues to investigate the accident.