British Columbia

Man dies in in-bounds avalanche on Whistler Mountain

A 34-year-old man from Whistler, B.C., was killed in an avalanche in the West Ridge area of Whistler Mountain on Tuesday.

34-year-old Whistler resident was killed Tuesday in West Ridge area of mountain, Vail Resorts says

A long lineup formed for the Peak Express Chair the day the man died in the avalanche, after a storm had delivered a big dump of snow over the previous two days. (submitted by Pierre Banks)

A 34-year-old Whistler, B.C., man was killed Tuesday in an avalanche within the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort boundary.

According to Vail Resorts, the company that owns Whistler Blackcomb, the "ski incident" happened on Whistler Mountain in the West Ridge area and was attended by ski patrol members.

"We can confirm there was a Size 1 in-bounds avalanche involved — an investigation is underway," said a Vail spokesperson in an email.

CBC has contacted Whistler RCMP for more details.

The West Ridge run sits above a steep band of cliffs that separate the lower sections of Whistler Bowl and West Bowl. It is accessed from the Peak Express Chair and is rated black diamond.

A long line of people were seen waiting for the lift to open Tuesday morning because of a storm the day before that delivered a huge dump of fresh powder to the area.

Tourists at the base of Whistler Mountain in March 2020. The fatal avalanche occurred in the West Ridge area of the mountain. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Avalanches are rated according to their destructive potential on a scale of one to five, with a Size 1 the smallest, typically covering 10 to 30 metres in length with a material volume of about 100 cubic metres.

Avalanche Canada listed the avalanche danger in the Sea to Sky region as "considerable" on Tuesday in treeline and alpine areas. The current rating for Thursday and Friday is high.

The name of the man who died has not been released.