The skier killed in an avalanche in B.C.’s Callaghan Valley has been identified by friends as 33-year-old Corey Lynam. He leaves behind a wife and a young son.
A GoFundMe page set up for Lynam’s family says, “Corey will always be a shining example of a great father, husband, and friend. He was a passionate and talented skier and kiteboarder. He loved adventure and lived life to the fullest. He will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.”
Lynam was skiing with a group of 14 in the Hanging Lake area of Mount Sproatt at around 11:15 a.m. Saturday when an avalanche struck.
Search and Rescue crews, as well as two dogs from the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dogs Association, arrived at the scene and began searching for the missing skier. One of the dogs alerted crews to a location at around 3:25 p.m., where crews ultimately found the Lynam buried under 80 centimetres of snow, according to Whistler RCMP.
One of Lynam’s friends, Tristan Jenkins, who was also skiing that day, told Global News Lynam will be remembered as a loving father, husband and an amazing friend who loved the outdoors.
He was also an engineer and received a master’s degree in engineering from UBC in 2011.
But while Lynam loved going on adventures, Jenkins said he was always cautious and responsible when doing so.
“I feel some people, they hear about these stories, and they immediately jump to a conclusion that the skier or that snowboarder was irresponsible or he wasn’t safe,” Tristan Jenkins told Global News.
“I really don’t want that message to be delivered, because you have to honour Corey by understanding who he was – a very calculated, considerate, careful individual. He was an engineer and he pretty much engineered every part of his life in that way.”
Jenkins said Lynam was the third skier of their group to ski down the hill, and “the entire mountain side let go on him.”
“We thought we had made the right decision and entered the slope at what we thought was a safe area,” Jenkins said. “He wasn’t being reckless, it was just a very tragic, unfortunate accident.”
Whistler Search and Rescue manager Brad Sills said on Saturday that recent conditions have made the area dangerous. Over one metre of snow has fallen in the last three days.
“People really do need to calm their desire to go out and ski these wide open spaces,” Sills said. “Let the snow settle out and be aware that this type of skiing is way above the risk.”
Avalanche Canada reports there is a “considerable” avalanche risk for the Sea to Sky region.
Separate avalanche hits skiers on North Shore
Meanwhile on the North Shore, another avalanche hit a pair of skiers in Cypress Mountain’s back country. One skier was swept up in the slide but rescue crews were able to get the man transported to hospital, where he remains in serious condition.
North Shore Rescue crews applauded the skiers for carrying avalanche equipment, saying it likely helped save the skier’s life.