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Canmore family doctor dies after avalanche near Lake Louise

Laura Kosakoski was backcountry skiing with friends on Friday afternoon

BOW VALLEY – A local family doctor and beloved Canmorite, Laura Kosakoski, has been identified as the victim in Friday afternoon's avalanche on Mt. Hector near Lake Louise. 

Kosakoski's husband, Adam Campbell, took to Facebook early Monday (Jan. 13) morning to post small tributes to his wife, writing "because of your smile you made life more beautiful." 

Kosakoski was backcountry skiing with Campbell and another friend Friday afternoon when the avalanche occurred. The 32-year-old doctor was buried in the avalanche for 45 minutes before she was found.  

Alpine Helicopters Inc. confirmed in a Facebook post that its crew transported her from Mount Hector to the Banff warden office, where she was picked up by STARS air ambulance and taken to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary at approximately 5 p.m.

A report on Avalanche Canada's website from Friday afternoon stated that there was a serious incident at Mount Hector. The post  indicated the 2.5 sized avalanche was a "serious accident."

"Serious accident today," reported Snow Safety on the site. "Party possibly remotely triggered the size 2.5 avalanche on Mount Hector. It may have started as a windslab release with possible involvement of the upper surface hoar/facet/stellar Dec. 31 persistent layer, which then stepped down to the weak basal deep persistent layer in places." 

STARS spokesperson Mark Oddan confirmed Kosakoski was in critical condition when she was transported. The Outlook confirmed she passed away in hospital Saturday (Jan. 11). 

"No light shines brighter," wrote Campbell on Facebook. 

About the Author: Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Previously, she worked for Global News Toronto as a news producer and writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Lans_macleod
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