Skier, 32, dead after fall into tree well Whistler Blackcomb
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 12:57 PM - A 32-year-old woman is dead after being found unresponsive in a tree well at the popular B.C. ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb. Police said the woman, who was also an off-duty resort employee, was out with her husband in the Seventh Heaven area of Blackcomb Mountain on Tuesday when she became separated in a treed area.
According to ski patrol, the woman was reported missing at around 10:40 a.m. PT and a search was launched. A member of the public found her unresponsive in a tree well about 40 minutes later. Blackcomb ski patrol, a mountain doctor, a paramedic and a nurse practitioner attempted to revive her, but police say they were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead on the mountain.
"Whistler Blackcomb wishes to express its sincerest condolences to friends, family and co-workers for this sad loss," the company said in a statement, adding that the woman was an off duty employee.
DANGERS OF A TREE WELL
A tree well is a void or area of loose snow around the trunk of a tree enveloped in deep snow. These voids can pose extreme danger to hikers, snowshoers, skiers, and snowboarders who fall into them.
Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair says in most cases, a skier would tip in head-first into a tree well. If the sides of the tree well collapse on top of the skier, they could suffocate under the falling snow.