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

Get used to visiting Whitewater Ski Resort during the summer. It’s adding off-season programming thanks to a provincial grant. File photo
Province grants Whitewater $1m for summer rec plans

The ski resort will expand its mountain biking, hiking and climbing options

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

School District 8 is considering moving some programs out of Central School to make more room. Photo: Tyler Harper
SD8 considers moving Wildflower classes, REACH program out of Central School

The district says the building is set to operate over capacity in the fall

A emergency response team assisted the RCMP in apprehending a woman in Kaslo who was barricaded in her house on March 1. File photo
RCMP apprehend woman barricaded in Kaslo house

The woman had been writing threatening messages about taking hostages, police say

The news is very funny to us.
VIDEO: Wednesday Roundup

Reporter Bill Metcalfe and his sidekick Tyler Harper freestyle the news

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

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
Poster popping up on Vancouver Island falsely claims COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

On June 23, 2020, Sunrise Rotary announced it will be donating $50,000 in support of the Bridge Youth and Family Services for the construction of the “Okanagan Youth Recovery House” project for young people under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction. (Contributed)
Interior Health adds 10 youth substance-use treatment beds in the Okanagan

The Bridge Youth and Family Services will operate the beds

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Most Read