A 63-year-old man is dead after falling into a tree well on Whistler Mountain while skiing Saturday.

According to Whistler Blackcomb staff, the man was skiing near Ratfink run when the incident happened around 11:15 a.m.

“”From my knowledge the skier was very experienced,” said Brian Leighton, Whistler Blackcomb safety manager. “He had skied here for many years and knew the terrain well and had the ability to go there.”

Whistler Mountain Ski Patrol, a paramedic and a mountain doctor responded immediately to the scene where members of the public were already trying to resuscitate the man using CPR.

The man was taken to Whistler Health Care Centre via ambulance where he was pronounced dead.

The man’s identity has not been released.

A tree well is described as a hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree where snow accumulates.

“Tree wells don’t usually start to form until we start to see the depth of snow that we’re beginning to see now,” Leighton said.

Mountain staff recommend always skiing or riding in pairs within sight of one another, and staying close enough together to dig each other out should a tree well incident occur.

Leighton said that low temperatures mixed with not much snow are creating snow stability issues and avalanches are also becoming a risk, and urges caution in the mountains.