Snowboarder dies in 2nd fatal avalanche near Whistler in as many days
Published Saturday, February 13, 2021 5:29PM PST Last Updated Saturday, February 13, 2021 7:06PM PST
VANCOUVER -- Whistler RCMP say there has been a second fatal avalanche in their jurisdiction in as many days.
Police and Whistler Search and Rescue were called to the Brandywine Bowl area shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, less than 24 hours after two avalanches elsewhere in the Whistler backcountry caused one death and two injuries in the area.
Three people were swept up in Saturday's slide, and one remained missing when the call came in, police said.
Those in the area immediately began searching for the missing snowboarder, a 45-year-old man from the Sea to Sky region, police said, adding that his body was recovered after roughly 45 minutes of searching.
Police said they believe the trio was caught in an initial avalanche and, while trying to get out of the area, was unable to avoid a second one.
Whistler RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are investigating the incident and previous recent fatalities in the area, police said.
On Friday, authorities said an avalanche struck around 3:20 p.m. in the Poop Chutes area, killing one skier and injuring another. A third person was caught up in that avalanche, but was uninjured.
There was also an avalanche on Spierhead Glacier on Friday that seriously injured one person.
In the RCMP news release, Sgt. Sascha Banks referenced four serious search and rescue calls that have occurred over the last three days. In addition to the avalanches, a skier was lost overnight Thursday and spent the night doing jumping jacks and jogging in place to avoid freezing to death.
"The calls speak for themselves," Banks said in the release. "The backcountry in the Sea to Sky is not stable at the moment. It's time to wait and postpone your touring trip here for another time."
"This is hard on all of us: search teams, bystanders, police, and most importantly the loved ones of those who have died and been injured. Their stories have valuable lessons, which we all need to learn from."