NEWS

Snowboarder dies after hitting tree at Whistler

01/18/2013 06:21 EST | Updated 03/20/2013 05:12 EDT
A 24-year-old snowboarder from Australia has died after slipping and colliding with some trees on Thursday in the Harmony Bowl area of Whistler Mountain.

The accident happened in-bounds on a steep forested slope between the Ratfink and Chunky's Choice runs, according to RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair.

The victim and an unidentified woman "got into some terrain that was quite steep," LeClair said.

"They'd taken off their snowboards in an attempt to walk down the hill. And the male slipped, slid down the hill and appears to have impacted with some trees on the way down and suffered serious head trauma."

The man was taken by helicopter to the Whistler Health Care Centre and then transferred to a hospital in Vancouver, where he died from his injuries last night.

LeClair said the tragedy is a reminder hazards exist within and outside the ski area.

Earlier this month a skier from Okalahoma died after falling off a cliff in the Franz's Meadow area of Whistler.

New six-seat chairlift planned for Harmony Bowl

The resort also announced plans on Friday to upgrade the Harmony Express chairlift to a high-speed six-seater, increasing the capacity of the lift from 2,400 to 3,600 skiers per hour. The lift will access the same area as the existing chair.

The old quad chair will be moved to Blackcomb Mountain's Crystal Zone, and will enable skiers exiting the Blackcomb Glacier area to ride up to the Glacier Express chairlift without skiing down to the Excelerator chairlift.

The $18 million worth of upgrades are expected to be ready for the 2013-2014 season.

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