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

  • Pedophile stopped at Sydney Airport under anti-sex tourism law

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - A convicted child molester was prevented from flying overseas from Sydney Airport on Wednesday under new laws aimed at keeping Australian pedophiles from travelling to Southeast Asia for sex tourism. Laws that took effect on Wednesday prevent 20,000 convicted pedophiles listed on the Australian child sex offender register from leaving the country except for specific purposes approved by law enforcement agencies. Source
  • UN envoy says 'door ajar' to negotiated North Korea solution

    World News CBC News
    The UN political chief said Tuesday that senior North Korean officials told him during a four-day visit to the country last week "that it was important to prevent war" over the country's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Source
  • Assault victim says ex-boyfriend's discharge tells attackers 'He can get away with it'

    Canada News CTV News
    A Newfoundland woman who was beaten by her ex-boyfriend says a judge’s decision to grant a discharge sends a clear message to attackers that “you can do whatever you want as long as you’re going to university at some point. Source
  • North Koreans say it's important to prevent war: UN official

    World News CTV News
    The UN political chief said Tuesday that senior North Korea officials told him during a four-day visit to the country last week "that it was important to prevent war" over the country's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Source
  • Sold North Korean brides face hard choices in China

    World News CTV News
    WESTERN LIAONING PROVINCE, China -- The North Korean woman drives a motorbike slowly down a narrow lane shaded by tall corn to the farmhouse where she lives with the disabled Chinese man who bought her. Source
  • Wynne says marijuana revenue deal with feds means money for municipalities

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Municipalities can begin discussions with Ontario over costs associated with legalized marijuana in light of a new tax revenue-sharing agreement between the provinces and federal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday. Wynne's comments come after Ottawa agreed Monday to give provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of federal excise tax revenues from the sale of legalized pot. Source
  • B.C. premier says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier John Horgan says marijuana users in British Columbia could face the same rules as those who smoke tobacco in public. Horgan says his government is still formulating its marijuana policy, but following bylaws that prohibit people from smoking near buildings or public spaces is under consideration. Source
  • 25,700 college students get refund after strike, according to early numbers

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Nearly 25,700 full-time Ontario college students received tuition refunds after a five-week strike derailed their semester. Ontario's Ministry of Advanced Education confirmed Tuesday that 10.3 per cent of Ontario's roughly 250,000 full-time college students asked for, and received, their money back after the strike. Source
  • Man who tricked teen by pretending to be Miley Cyrus' brother gets 6 years prison

    World News CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- Authorities say a New Hampshire man who pretended to be Miley Cyrus' brother to entice a 14-year-old boy to send him sexually explicit photos and videos online has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison. Source
  • Iraq PM warns Islamic State might erupt again somewhere else

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Three days after declaring victory over the Islamic State group, Iraq's prime minister warns that the group's extremists might "erupt again somewhere else" without international co-operation in combatting the militants. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that "we have managed to break them" in Iraq, but added that it's a worry for everyone that IS has "this unfortunate ability to recruit young people very quickly. Source