An 18-year-old Vancouver Island man, who was skiing with friends, went off the edge of a cliff on Blackcomb Mountain Saturday and fell 12 metres on to trees and rocks, according to the mountain's director of operations.
Doug MacFarlane said the young man was skiing with a group of three or four people on Crystal Ridge when the group went beyond a marked cliff area.
"It’s a treed area on the edge of a ski trail, so as you go in and out of the trees from the ski run ... and he went through the cliff disks that indicated where the cliff was and got a little too far left and wound up going off the cliff," MacFarlane said.
"It’s not an area where people will ski typically. Most of the people where that area is marked, will respect that mark and stay you know ... kind of stay away from it."
Ski patrol on scene within minutes
Whistler Blackcomb said in a statement Sunday it was notified of an injured skier around 2:59 p.m. PT.
"Blackcomb Ski Patrol arrived on the scene within minutes of being notified and found the skier unconscious and unresponsive," it said. "The Ski Patrol took over first aid from members of the injured skier’s party."
The statement said nine ski patrollers, two Whistler Blackcomb doctors and a paramedic were on scene. A defibrillator was used, but the skier was pronounced dead at 3:41 p.m. PT.
MacFarlane said the teen, who was wearing a helmet, is from Vancouver Island.
He said the group arrived on the mountain Saturday for race training, but the training was postponed because there had been too much fresh snow overnight and it hadn't been packed enough to allow racing.
He said the group decided to get in some free-skiing.
In the wake of the accident, MacFarlane said skiers and snowboarders are again being reminded to pay attention to the boundary and safety signs posted on the mountain.
"We do put a great deal of effort into our markings and hope that people ski within their ability, within the visibility of the terrain and know the geography they’re going into. So ski within your ability, he said.
The RCMP has taken over the investigation.
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