A 16-year-old boy died on Grouse Mountain Friday night in what police and rescuers are calling a tragic and unfortunate snowboarding accident.
North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong said the teen, an exchange student from Brazil, was separated from his friends on the ski hill at around 7 p.m. PT.
"Unfortunately, he ventured off the main trail and fell approximately 30 feet, striking a tree," De Jong said in a written statement.
His friends reported him missing soon after. Grouse Mountain ski hill staff began a search, but heavy fog and sleet hampered the effort. At around 10:30 p.m., North Shore Search and Rescue were called out to assist.
Tim Jones, a spokesman for North Shore Search and Rescue, said the missing snowboarder was found just after midnight, off a service road below the peak of Grouse Mountain, near the Heaven’s Sake run and the Olympic chairlift.
The teen was unresponsive. Rescuers began extensive resuscitation efforts, but could not revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"This, to me, is a very tragic accident that occurred, a bad weather situation," Jones said. "Maybe he lost his bearings for whatever it was, but he went into a steep rocky area and that's where he had his accident.
"He did not go out of bounds. This was not an intentional act, this was really an accident," Jones said.
The boy's family in Brazil and his local home-stay family have been notified of his death, police said.
In a written statement released on Saturday morning, Grouse Mountain expressed its sympathy to those who knew the teen.
"Grouse Mountain expresses our deepest and most sincere condolences to this individual’s family and friends for their extremely tragic loss and we are providing full support to all parties involved during this very difficult time," the statement said.
The B.C. Coroners Service and North Vancouver RCMP are investigating the death. Police say the teen was not wearing a helmet, which may be a contributing factor in this case.