PEMBERTON (NEWS 1130) – A warning to backcountry enthusiasts to be extra careful on the mountains as the Easter Long Weekend gets underway.
The warning comes after a skier died after being caught up in an avalanche near Pemberton. Police were called out just after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, but confirmation of the death was only released today.
Investigators say they were called by a local heli-skiing company who was reporting a skier had been buried in the South Creek.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Jolaine Percival says the skier was found and taken to the Whistler Health Centre. “[The skier] was in critical condition. Despite the best efforts of the medical professionals there, the skier was pronounced deceased after 4:30 p.m.”
With many expected to hit the slopes before the season ends, Avalanche BC is reminding you to stay in bounds and to be prepared for the unexpected.
“Make sure they have avalanche safety gear that would be a transceiver, a probe and a shovel. The really important link there is knowing how to use that safety gear,” explains the agency’s Mark Bender.
You should also have the necessary training, and also tell someone where you’re going.
“Even though it’s getting towards the end of the season, as long as there is snow on the slopes, it’s still avalanche season. Right now the avalanche danger is rated as considerable in the alpine,” adds Bender.
WHAT TO BRING (from North Shore Rescue)
- Light – flashlight or a headlamp with extra batteries. Green cyalume stick or small turtle lights as emergency backup
- Signalling device – Whistle, Bear Bangers, Pencil Flare
- Fire Starter – Matches or lighter or a commercial firestarter and/or candle
- Warm clothes — toque, mittens, puffy/Gortex jacket, polypro underwear, good quality hiking socks, Gortex pants
Click here to read the rest of the list.
He says don’t let the sun fool you into thinking the conditions won’t be dangerous. “When the sun comes out that actually starts to loosen the surface snow. So, any steep slope where the sun is shining, those are the places that people should be aware of that there is potentially increased hazards.”
NEWS 1130‘s sister station Mountain FM in Whistler has confirmed the identity of the skier as Lisa Korthals, however, police haven’t commented.
The death comes shortly after an 11-year-old and 35-year-old from Miami were killed while on a backcountry snowmobile tour near Golden.
Anyone with information about the skier’s death is asked to call Sea to Sky RCMP at 604.892.6100 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS.