Avalanche, British Columbia, Selkirk Mountains

Publication Year: 1987.


British Columbia, Selkirk Mountains

A neurosurgeon from Mercer Island and a noted mountaineer from Spokane, Washington, were killed on February 4, 1986, when an avalanche buried them while they were helicopter skiing in British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains.

A third man, John Gunderson (32) of Seattle, survived the avalanche and was in good condition in Arrow Lakes Hospital in Naksup. He suffered numerous cuts and bruises but was released from the hospital a few days after the accident.

Killed were Dr. James Timothy Stuntz (47), a neurosurgeon at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, and Kim Momb (29) of Spokane. Momb, three years ago, helped pioneer a route up the East Face of Mount Everest.

The three skiers were dug from the avalanche by the crew of a helicopter on the afternoon of February 4. Momb, employed by Kootenay Helicopter Skiing Ltd., was the guide for the group. (Source: The Seattle Times, Wednesday, February 5, 1986)

(Editor’s Note: While not a climbing accident, this report is included to remind readers that back country skiing puts one in a mountaineering situation.)