A 63-year old man has died while skiing at Whistler Mountain.
Late morning on Saturday, the male was found head first in a tree well – a void that forms under the base of a tree when low hanging branches block snow from filling in and consolidating around the base of the tree. Those trapped head first in a tree well can suffocate from the loosening of snow around the edge of the tree well.
It is not known whether visibility contributed to the fall into the hole as it was snowing heavily at the time.
Passersby skiers made attempts to resuscitate the man using CPR while ski patrol, a paramedic and a doctor responded to the incident. The man was brought down the mountain to Whistler Health Care Centre, where he was pronounced dead.
Skiers and snowboarders are advised to not ski alone and to maintain close visual contact with a partner. Here are some highly useful tips for what you need to do if you fall into a tree well:
Image: SIS Safety Video screenshot