STARS helicopter

STARS Air Ambulance was called to respond to the scene of an avalanche on Saturday evening and officials confirm they transported one person to hospital.

The service was called in to assist in the Fortress Junction area in Kananaskis Country at about 6:15 p.m.

One patient was flown to Foothills Hospital as a result. There is no information on the condition of the victim at this time.

Karl Klassen, with Avalanche Canada, says there isn’t much information about what happened but says there was a group of people on dry ground at the bottom of the valley when the slide occurred.

“An avalanche released above them and hit them,” he says.

Klassen says it’s been a pretty cool and snowy spring across many mountain ranges and now that temperatures are warming up, there is a high risk of avalanches in many areas.

“Quite a bit of snow fell at higher elevations even though we weren’t seeing much at lower elevations,” he says. “We’re still in avalanche season because of all the snow at upper elevations.”

There is a lot of misinformation about avalanches at this time of year, Klassen says.

“I think people underestimate how far avalanches can run and I think at this time of year, people don’t think about avalanches as a hazard because so much of ground is already dry [and] temperatures are warm.”

He wants to make sure that if anyone goes out into the backcountry, they need to remember to be aware of their surroundings, including what’s above them.

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