Mother of ice climber who perished in avalanche marks sombre anniversary

CALGARY - The journey of a grieving mother whose son, a Canadian Forces search-and-rescue technician, was buried in a powerful avalanche a year ago has come full circle.

See Full Article

Liz Quinn, of Moncton, N.B., along with friends and family members, will take a helicopter flight over the Polar Circus ice-climbing route in Banff National Park on Friday to mark the anniversary of the death of Sgt. Mark Salesse.

Salesse, 44, was training with others when an avalanche swept him off a narrow ledge, burying him beneath 4 1/2 metres of snow. His body was recovered a week later.

"I wanted to see where Mark fell," Quinn said in an interview with The Canadian Press when she arrived in Calgary late Wednesday. "I wanted to see where he spent his last few days."

She choked back tears as she explained how much he loved the mountains and his career.

"It might sound crazy but I feel he's there in the Rockies," she said. "I feel that Mark is pulling us here. It's going to close that circle."

Salesse wasn't wearing an avalanche transceiver, a device that allows rescuers to hone in on a signal and locate buried victims.

Colleagues say the New Brunswick native, who was based at CFB Winnipeg, was the strongest climber on his squadron of more than 200 SAR Techs.

Quinn said her son joined the military when he was 18 and turned down a mission to Afghanistan when the search-and-rescue opportunity came along.

"Mark was a tall guy. He never wanted to say he was over six foot five but he was a kid at heart. He was gentle and he was thoughtful," she recalled.

"He lived his life and he treated people the way he wanted to be treated."

Quinn proudly showed off a locket containing a smiling photo of her son on one side and a picture of him with several friends from Winnipeg.

There will be friends and family members remembering him in Banff, including Eric Boivin, an ex-SAR Tech and Salesse's climbing partner at the time of accident.

The Royal Canadian Air Force is conducting an official inquiry into his death to determine how it happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

The report and recommendations are expected within the next few weeks.

Quinn said she has been proud to talk about her son and wants Canadians to know what a SAR Tech does.

"People know that soldiers go to Afghanistan, they know they have gone to Rwanda, but there are soldiers in Canada that people don't know about," she said. "If doing this puts Canadian SAR Techs on the map and in people's minds, then Mark did not die for nothing."

Quinn doesn't expect to make the journey to the Rockies again.

"No, but I will remember him every year. I remember him all the time."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec trial underway for man whose pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled young girl

    Canada News CTV News
    LONGUEUIL, Que. -- A Quebec man is standing trial for criminal negligence causing bodily harm after one of his pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled a little girl in 2015. The two-day trial began today at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que. Source
  • Internal Tory turmoil in the spotlight as Ontario legislature resumes this week

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The sprint to Ontario's spring election begins this week as the legislature is set to resume following an unprecedented tumult that saw the official Opposition implode under the weight of its leader's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations. Source
  • B.C. challenges Alberta wine ban under free trade rules

    Canada News CBC News
    The B.C. government is challenging Alberta's ban on B.C. wines through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's (CFTA) dispute settlement process. According to a release, the province has notified the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA regarding Alberta's embargo on the sale of B.C. Source
  • Hedley withdraws from Juno award consideration

    Canada News CBC News
    The members of the embattled rock band Hedley say they have withdrawn from consideration for three awards at this year's Junos and plan to "talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it. Source
  • U.S. bipartisan gun bill aims to improve compliance with criminal background checks

    World News CBC News
    The White House supports efforts to strengthen background checks for gun purchases in the wake of last week's shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. The White House said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, five days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Source
  • Trump backs efforts to bolster FBI gun checks

    World News CTV News
    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump offered support Monday for an effort to strengthen the federal gun background check system as he hunkered down at his private Florida golf course just 40 miles from last week's deadly school shooting. Source
  • Quebec man arrested in 2002 Alberta slaying

    Canada News CTV News
    AIRDRIE, Alta. - A Quebec man has been arrested in the slaying of a 21-year-old woman 16 years ago. The body of Adrienne McColl was found on a rancher's field in February 2002 about 85 kilometres south of Calgary. Source
  • Calgary roller-skating rink closes its doors after more than 5 decades of operation

    Canada News CTV News
    A line of people wrapped around Lloyd’s Recreation on its final day of operation Sunday. Over the past few weeks, thousands of skaters have visited the Calgary roller-skating rink before its official closure after 53 years. Source
  • 'More than just a skin blemish': Calgary-led study indicates new acne diagnoses linked to depression risk

    Canada News CBC News
    Dermatologists and other doctors treating acne should keep an eye on patients' mood symptoms as well, and start treatment or make a psychological referral if depression is present, according to new study. (Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada) Source
  • Toronto firefighter who disappeared in NY, wound up in California returns home

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The president of the union representing Toronto's firefighters says a fire captain who was found in California after vanishing from a New York state ski slope is back in Canada. Frank Ramagnano says Constantinos (Danny) Filippidis made a brief stop in Lake Placid, N.Y. Source