REVELSTOKE, British Columbia (AP) -- Heavy fog prevented investigators on Tuesday from reaching the remote site in British Columbia's jagged mountains where an avalanche killed seven backcountry skiers, including three Americans.
One other skier was hospitalized after Monday's avalanche near Durrand Glacier in the Selkirk mountain range, police said. The 13 other skiers avoided serious injury.
KTUU-TV in Anchorage reported that one of the rescued was Alaskan John Seibert, who called his wife in Anchorage to tell her that he had survived the avalanche.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said two of the American victims were from California and one was from Colorado. The Canadians were from Alberta and British Columbia.
The names of the dead were not made public, but police said the Americans were a 49-year-old man from Littleton, Colo., a 50-year-old man from Los Angeles and a 39-year-old woman from Truckee, Calif.
The Canadians were a 50-year-old man from Canmore, Alberta, a 25-year-old woman from Calgary, Alberta, a 30-year-old man from New Westminster, British Columbia and a 36-year-old man from Nelson, British Columbia.
The survivors spent the night at a chalet accessible only by helicopter, and their prospects for evacuation were uncertain.
Clair Israelson, director of the Canadian Avalanche Association in Revelstoke, said poor weather made it impossible to reach the area to investigate why a wall of snow fell on the skiers, who had traveled into the mountains by helicopter.
The remoteness of the area also contributed to hours of confusion Monday from incomplete or erroneous reports about what happened.
Initial reports said eight skiers died, all of them American, out of a group of 11. Later, Sgt. Randy Brown of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said seven people died -- three Americans and four Canadians -- from a group of 21 skiers that split into two groups on the mountain.
Brown said two of the dead Canadians were from British Columbia and two from Alberta.
One skier was hospitalized, then later released, according to Brown.
''He was covered up in the avalanche but didn't sustain any real serious injuries,'' Brown said.
All the dead and injured were among 11 skiers who were lower down on the slope when the avalanche struck, Brown said.
Several survivors were buried but managed to dig themselves out, he said.
''This is a group that was well-organized,'' he said. ''They had guides there and rescue equipment was available.''
Ingrid Boaz at Selkirk Mountain Experience said the skiing party was flown to the company's chalet near the glacier, 6,360 feet above sea level in the heart of the mountains in eastern British Columbia, about 60 miles from the border with Alberta.
The Selkirk firm's Web site says the Revelstoke-based company, founded in 1985, caters to adventurers and described the area as ''very remote and wild.''
Backcountry skiers ''wear special ski gear, climb up hills, lock into their skis and ski down,'' Israelson said, adding that 50 people have been killed in British Columbia snow slides in the past five years, including 10 this year.
Regional coroner Ian McKichan said avalanche conditions in the area were rated as hazardous Monday. A weather pattern of temperatures going from above freezing to well below freezing created layers of ice and snow that increased the chances of avalanche, residents said.
In a weekly bulletin, the Canadian Avalanche Association warned people entering the backcountry to ''be alert for remote triggering and continue to be vigilant about avoiding those tempting big, steep alpine faces.''
Prime Minister Jean Chretien issued a statement saying, ''Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families during this very painful time.''
Avalanche safety became a national issue after former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's son, Michel, was killed in a 1998 avalanche. Michel's brother, Justin, started an avalanche awareness group.
On the Net:
Selkirk Mountain Experience, http://www.selkirkexperience.com
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