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

The Raptors Rescue Society will receive $387,350 from the province to help construct its planned Education Centre. (File photo)
Raptors Rescue Society to receive $387,350 from province

Funding to be used for new Education Centre

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

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 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is planning on opening a child and youth advocacy centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Child and youth advocacy centre eyed for Cowichan

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society hopes to open centre later this year

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’

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

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)
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

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read