Sean McGarry is remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and an avid outdoorsman. He was trained and equipped for avalanche preparedness when he was killed last November. Photo courtesy of Neal McGarry

Sean McGarry is remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and an avid outdoorsman. He was trained and equipped for avalanche preparedness when he was killed last November. Photo courtesy of Neal McGarry

Grand Forks couple mourns son’s death in avalanche

Avalanche Canada has since issued a warning over alpine regions throughout British Columbia

A Grand Forks couple is mourning their son who was killed in an avalanche a month before Christmas.

Thirty-five year old Sean McGarry and a friend went snowmobiling near Sean’s cabin in Powder King Mountain Resort, north of Prince George on Saturday, Nov. 28. Sean’s mother and father, Lisa and Neal McGarry, were 1,000 kilometres away when were notified.

READ MORE: Avalanche warning issued for B.C. Interior, Alberta

READ MORE: Avalanche danger ratings high across Kootenays

“At first, I didn’t believe it,” Neal told The Gazette. “There are some days where it’s still not real for me.”

“You find yourself still hanging on to a little bit of disbelief, sadness and happiness and everything in between.”

Sean and his friend, both experienced backcountry enthusiasts, were having lunch in a meadow Neal said “they’d been there 20 times over.” Sean took his snowmobile up a nearby slope, hoping to try out his new snowboard, when a breakaway cornice triggered the slide that buried him.

Sean’s friend tried to give warning by waving his arms in the air, but the cascade of ice and snow washed over Sean.

“It was probably quick,” Neal said.

Avalanche Canada warned of dangerous conditions across the province and parts of Alberta roughly three weeks after Sean’s death.

Sean is survived by his pregnant wife Nikki and their young son Maverick. The couple had recently bought a two-thirds share of the McGarry cabin in Powder King, where father and son had recently finished a series of renovations. The cabin was supposed to stay “a meeting spot” for the whole family, Neal explained.

The McGarry’s had come together in Grand Forks for two weeks every spring after Lisa and Neal made their home in the city four years ago.

**EDITOR’S NOTE: Sean McGarry was related to the editor at The Gazette through the editor’s mother, Marion McGarry.**


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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