VANCOUVER – A icon of extreme snowmobiling was one of three people killed in separate avalanches on the same day in British Columbia.
Daniel Davidoff, 45, who was known as the “Krazy Canadian” after appearing in numerous snowmobiling adventure films, died Monday in mountains near his hometown of Castlegar, in south-central B.C.
Davidoff was reported missing late that night after failing to return from a planned solo snowmobiling trip, said regional coroner Larry Marzinzik.
He said a search team found the man’s body on Tuesday morning near College Creek Forestry Rd., and determined he had been struck by a snowslide.
The coroner said two Alberta men were identified as victims of a separate incident northeast of Kamloops on Monday afternoon, increasing the death toll to 13 from avalanches across Western Canada this season.
Many people have posted online tributes to Davidoff, who is featured in a series of backcountry sledding videos called “Krazy Canadian Adventures.”
A description for one film posted on YouTube invites audiences to watch as the “Krazy crew heads out in search of new terrain, over-your-head powder, huge cliff drops and nearly impossible chutes that can only be climbed with huge horsepower turbo sleds and pure adrenaline.”
The creator of a B.C. snowmobiling page on Facebook, titled “Nobody sleds alone,” posted that Davidoff’s death should be a big wake-up call.
“No one should ride alone, regardless of skill or equipment. Dan was one of the best chute climbers around. Extremely knowledgeable in the backcountry and of snow conditions,” the post said. “Yet this happened. No matter how good, how prepared you are Ma Nature takes no prisoners.”
Davidoff was featured in several extreme sport magazines, which tout him as the only two-time winner of the “Xtremey Award” for best performance in a snowmobile film.
A 2011 interview with Davidoff in Snowest magazine says his “ridiculous hillclimbs” and countless first ascents earned him a reputation as one of the top backcountry hillclimbers. It says he swore off alcohol and drugs in his youth, allowing him to “live on a natural high.”
Davidoff told the magazine he started riding about 40 years ago with his parents, who would pack him on their sled before he was two years old.
Asked whether he had advice for up-and-coming hillclimbers, Davidoff suggested people “ride smart” during dangerous avalanche days.
“You can always come back and slay the face another day,” he said. “But when the snow is safe and you feel it in your belly go for it. If you don’t feel it, trust your instincts. My worst failures always came when I had a bad feeling and didn’t listen to it.”