A 24-year-old Australian man died Thursday (Jan. 17) from injuries suffered after falling down a slope on Whistler Mountain.
Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said Whistler Ski Patrol contacted police at 11:50 a.m. Thursday to advise of a serious injury. The visiting man had been snowboarding but fell in a steep, treed area and sustained head trauma, said LeClair.
"It appears that he and a woman found themselves in steeper terrain than they were able to handle and removed their snowboard in an attempt to walk down the steep slope," said LeClair in a release. "The male slipped, slid down the slope and impacted with some trees."
The man was not wearing a helmet, said LeClair, who would not speculate on how far the individual slid before striking his head.
LeClair said an on-mountain doctor attended the scene. The man was then airlifted to the Whistler Health Care Centre before being transferred to a Vancouver hospital. The individual succumbed to his injuries at 7 p.m.
In a statement, Whistler Blackcomb officials said the incident took place in a "steep, treed area" to the skier's right of Ratfink. The name of the deceased was not immediately available.
"Whistler Blackcomb's Critical Incident Team is providing support to those involved and wishes to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends for this sad loss," said the statement.
The man is the second person to die while skiing or snowboarding on Whistler Mountain this month, as 43-year-old Oklahoma resident Sean Miller died Jan. 7 after skiing over a cliff in-bounds.
"This tragic incident is a reminder that hazards exist within and outside the ski area boundary," said LeClair. "Skiers and riders are urged to exercise caution when on the mountain to have a safe, enjoyable experience."
Stay tuned for more details as they become available.