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Trek to scale Alberta mountain ends in hospital for climbers caught in slide

JASPER, Alta. — Two people suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries when they were swept about 600 metres by an avalanche they triggered while climbing a mountain in Jasper National Park.

Parks Canada says the climbers were roped together when the slide happened as they were ascending Mount Athabasca on Wednesday morning.

The leader was partially buried with only his head and arm exposed, while his partner remained on the surface.

Members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides witnessed and reported the avalanche and came to their aid.

The climbers, whose names have not been released, were airlifted to the Jasper hospital for treatment.

Parks Canada says the weather was clear with a light wind at the time of the slide, and that an early season snowfall contributed to the creation of wind slabs in the alpine zone.

Officials say the climbers described the snow they were on as "styrofoam-like."

They also say the pair were properly equipped for backcountry travel. (CTV Edmonton)

The Canadian Press

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