Credit: Jenna Wootton
According to news reports, the man was found upside down at the base of a tree and was spotted by a skier passing by on Wednesday morning. Whistler’s local news magazine, Pique, reported that the skier noticed something in the snow that didn’t look quite right, which prompted him to hike up the mountain about 10m, where he made the discovery.
Unable to pull the man out, the skier climbed further to alert others on the mountain. Together, a few skiers and snowboarders were able to pull the man out, but he was unresponsive. One of the rescuers began administering CPR and Blackcomb Ski Patrol was notified.
The victim was eventually transported by helicopter to the municipal heliport and then transferred to the Whistler Health Care Centre by ambulance. His identity has not yet been released.
While Whistler/Blackcomb and local authorities are encouraging riders to take caution and partner up on the mountain, it’s important to note that the man was snowboarding within boundaries open to the public. Whistler has been experiencing record-high snow falls this year—4 meters in March alone—and the ski community is thrilled with the constant dumping of fresh powder. But remember that more snow can sometimes mean more danger.
No matter how careful you are out there, accidents can happen.
Read our tips on how to escape a tree-well.