Canada

At least 1 skier killed, 2 injured after avalanches near Whistler

Police now say two avalanches near Whistler are responsible for injuring two skiers and killing another.

RCMP say conditions are unstable in Sea-to-Sky region right now and avalanche preparation is key

Two skiers were injured and one was killed after an avalanche off Blackcomb Glacier on Friday. (Submitted by: B.C. Emergency Health Services)

At least one skier has died and two were injured in two avalanches near Whistler, B.C., on Friday, according to RCMP.

Mounties received word that multiple skiers had been swept up in one avalanche in the Poop Chutes off Blackcomb Glacier at around 3:20 p.m., according to a police press release. The avalanche was categorized as a Size 3, which means it was big enough to bury a car or destroy a house.

Searchers were able to locate four people in the area after the slide, and have since discovered that the area was struck by not one but two avalanches.

One person was hurt in the Poop Chutes avalanche, one was pronounced dead by a local doctor and a third was uninjured. Rescuers now say that smaller avalanche happened a bit earlier on the Phalanx close to the Spierhead Glacier, leaving another skier with serious injuries.

(CBC)

Police, ski patrol members from Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Blackcomb Helicopters and avalanche technicians all remained on the scene to determine if anyone else was swept away.

Including Friday's incidents, skiers in the Sea-to-Sky region have been caught in three avalanches in just two days. A person was injured on Thursday after a slide in the backcountry at Garibaldi Provincial Park.

"We have said this multiple times already this year, the snowpack in the backcountry of the Sea-to-Sky is unstable and is subject to considerable and high avalanche risks," RCMP Sgt. Sascha Banks said in a news release.

"I cannot stress enough that you need appropriate avalanche equipment, train how to use it, recognize risk, and have up to date beacons/transceivers and that you know how to use them."

She said anyone heading into the backcountry right now needs to check the conditions with Avalanche Canada first, and consider cancelling their adventure.

Police are asking anyone with information about people who may have been skiing on the backside of Blackcomb Glacier on Friday to call Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044.

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