Police are urging skiers and snowboarders venturing into the backcountry to be prepared and equipped for avalanches, which are likely to occur. (Jen Coulter photo)

Police are urging skiers and snowboarders venturing into the backcountry to be prepared and equipped for avalanches, which are likely to occur. (Jen Coulter photo)

Skier killed, others injured in ‘high-risk’ avalanches this week near Whistler

Police warn of increased avalanche risk this Family Day weekend

A skier died in an avalanche, one of three in Whistler backcountry that left several this week stranded and injured.

At around 3:20 p.m. on Friday Mounties confirmed skiers had been swept up by a snowslide in the Poop Chutes area near Blackcomb Glacier.

An extensive search effort involving police, avalanche technicians, and a team of dogs led to the recovery of four people.

“Two were located with injuries, one was uninjured, and unfortunately, one was pronounced deceased by a doctor in the area,” said Sgt. Sascha Banks with Squamish RCMP.

The avalanche was classified as Size 3, meaning it could “bury a car, destroy a small building, or break a few trees,” according to Avalanche Canada.

On Thursday, crews rescued three skiers trapped on the Super Couloir Area on Mamquam Mountain, near Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Both men were extracted via helicopter, one was injured.

READ MORE: B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

The rescues come amid increased avalanche risk for the area, something police are urging those venturing into the backcountry to take into serious consideration.

“The snowpack in the backcountry of the Sea to Sky is unstable and is subject to considerable and high avalanche risks,” Banks said in a Feb. 13 news release.

As such, skiers need to be equipped for Blackcomb Glacier, Garibaldi Provincial Park and Brandywine Bowl, she said.

“I cannot stress enough that you need appropriate avalanche equipment, train how to use it, recognize risk, and have up to date beacons/transceivers and know how to use them.”

Mounties confirmed Saturday afternoon rescue crews were responding to an avalanche near Brandywine Mountain.

“Please stay out of the area… and note the backcountry snowpack is unstable we can’t stress this enough,” Whistler RCMP warned in a Twitter post.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

AvalancheRCMPSearch and RescueWhistler

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

Midway RCMP are continuing to investigate a recent burglary near Westbridge, B.C. File photo
Mounties looking for suspect in Boundary burglary

Investigators believe the suspect was driving a Jeep Liberty with a busted side mirror

Lawyers for three Grand Forks Fire/Rescue members denied any wrongdoing against former firefighter Leslie Cleverly, who in January filed a B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit against the defendants as well as their former Fire Chief and the City of Grand Forks. File photo
Grand Forks firefighters respond to former colleague’s lawsuit alleging conspiracy

The Supreme Court in Kelowna has not fixed a date for trial

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read