February 22, 2019 2:07 am
Updated: February 23, 2019 2:08 am

Woman killed after entering permanently closed area on Whistler Blackcomb

WATCH: A 42-year-old woman from Australia has been killed in Whistler while snowboarding in a closed area. Sarah MacDonald reports.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Whistler RCMP say the woman died as a result of falling over an embankment, not in an avalanche. Avalanche Canada has confirmed a human-caused avalanche was triggered but RCMP could not confirm this detail. Police say the woman  would have died whether or not an avalanche had occurred.

A woman died Thursday after entering an area of permanently closed terrain on Whistler Blackcomb.

On Friday, Whistler RCMP said the woman fell over an embankment in the permanently closed area. RCMP could not confirm if an avalanche was triggered but say the woman would have died regardless of whether a human-caused avalanche was triggered on her way down or not.

Avalanche Canada has confirmed a human-caused avalanche occurred.

Whistler Blackcomb says the woman, 42, from New South Wales, Australia, was with her 36-year-old male companion in the area above Lakeside Bowl on Blackcomb Mountain.

WATCH: A snowfall warning for the South Coast Friday morning came as officials issued an avalanche warning. Neetu Garcha reports.

Whistler RCMP said at least two snowboarders were in that closed area when the woman fell.

In the midst of the accident, the resort said a Class 1 avalanche was triggered.

The couple managed to contact first responders, who rushed the woman to the Whistler Health Care Centre.

WATCH: Feb. 6, 2016 — Avalanche training takes place in Whistler

Emergency Health Services confirmed they received a report of a patient enroute to Whistler Health Care Centre just before 2:30 p.m.

The woman later died from her injuries.

A map of the trail system at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort. The arrow points to the area where the two skiers were when the avalanche came down.

Whistler Blackcomb

The man was later rescued from the area and is believed to be in stable condition.

RCMP said the area the couple were in is permanently closed because the avalanche risk poses a danger to skiers on the runs below.

The slide came on the same day that Avalanche Canada issued a warning for the South Coast and Vancouver Island due to a weak snowpack and the possibility of fresh snowfall on Friday.

READ MORE: Avalanche warning issued for B.C.’s south coast, island as weak snowpack persists

It said an avalanche could be triggered easily.

The warning is expected to last until at least Sunday.

  • With a file from Aaron McArthur and Neetu Garcha

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