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

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Cottonwood Lake fundraiser reaches goal

The community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

The BC Interior Forestry Museum’s Riverside Forest Walk on Highway 23, north of Revelstoke, begins at their parking lot. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke trail network to expand with the help of CBT funding

Four Revelstoke projects received a total of almost $80,000

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Lesley Garlow, Indigenous educator at Touchstones Museum of Art and History, with two of many red dresses hanging outside Nelson City Hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Red dress exhibit outside Nelson City Hall calls for justice for Indigenous women and girls

The REDress Project has also been installed in Touchstones gallery

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

Most Read