Family, colleagues remember brothers killed in Kananaskis Country avalanche
Two Calgary-area brothers who died in an avalanche in Kananaskis Country this weekend are being remembered as loving husbands and fathers.
The brothers were in the back country in the Burstall Pass area of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park when they were swept away Saturday afternoon.
Mark Glaser, 54, and his 53-year-old brother Rob were avid outdoorsmen.
Mark lived in Calgary and worked in the oil and gas industry for over 25 years.
Rob lived in Bragg Creek and was a captain with the Calgary Fire Department. He was stationed in Bowness.
"He was a very nice guy, very dedicated to doing his job and to his crew," said acting fire Chief Ken Uzelock of Rob.
The brothers were skiing with a group in Kananaskis Country when the avalanche struck at around 3:45 p.m.
The avalanche was close to 300 metres wide and up to two meters thick, when it tore down the mountain.
Three skiers from the group frantically tried to locate the men with probes before search teams arrived but the two men were not wearing locator beacons. They had left the beacons and other emergency equipment in their vehicles.
"We did an aerial search of the debris and we did see some ski trails on that debris," said Mike Koppang with Kananaskis Public Safety.
"We continued to search the debris for a while and then we saw a hand sticking out of the snow surface."
The chopper was unable to land due to severe terrain and weather conditions. Eventually, a rescue team reached one of the men, but it was too late.
"He was deceased," Koppang said. "At that time the pilot was able to fly further down the valley and met up with the group of three that had a spot device and we were able to confirm two people were buried."
It wasn't until Sunday that a helicopter and search dogs helped find their bodies.
A family spokesperson says both were loving husbands and fathers and will be greatly missed by their families and legions of friends.
Both were seasoned back country hikers and skiers who shared a deep passion for the outdoors.
A fire department spokesman says a funeral and other memorial services are being planned in consultation with the Glaser family.
This avalanche came an hour after another slide at the Fernie Alpine Resort.
Seven people – five of which belonged to the Fernie Alpine Ski Team – were skiing in the Currie Bowl area when an avalanche was triggered around 2:30 p.m.
It was described as at least 30 metres wide and 300 metres long.
No one was completely covered by the avalanche but one young skier was taken to hospital with a minor leg injury.