Whistler (BC), Canada – A snowboarder died in an apparent tree well suffocation at Whistler Blackcomb on Wednesday, the second such death in less than a week.
The unidentified male rider was found at around 11 a.m. local time Wednesday morning by a passing skier at the base of a tree in the Seventh Heaven area on Blackcomb Mountain.
“A passerby skiing down the same run in the Seventh Heaven area spotted something that didn’t look right, and tried to help,” explained Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair, spokesperson for Whistler RCMP. “He hiked up in the deep snow and discovered a male snowboarder, inverted and unresponsive in a tree well.”
The skier tried to pull the male from the tree well but was unable to do so, LeClair further explained. He hiked further up the hill to alert other skiers and snowboarders in the area; together they were able to pull the male from the tree well.
Found unconscious and not breathing, those on the scene performed CPR until ski patrol arrived. The man was pronounced dead at the Whistler Health Care Centre.
The man’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The B.C. Coroner’s Office and the RCMP are investigating the incident.
On Saturday, 22-year-old KyOna Hoff of Yakima, Wash., died in a similar incident while skiing at White Pass ski area in Washington.