A Victoria man has died on Mount Washington after he fell in open intermediate terrain.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort confirmed the fatality, which happened on Jan. 5 as the 22-year-old man was snowboarding with four companions during a snowstorm.
Members of the group reported to lift operations staff that the man had fallen and did not meet them at the base of the lift as planned.
The snowboarder was found shortly thereafter by his companions, who were participating in the search. He was unresponsive with no apparent signs of trauma. Lifesaving measures were performed by the companions and ski patrol but ultimately proved unsuccessful.
The release noted the exact circumstances surrounding the incident are under a customary investigation by the BC Coroner Service and the RCMP.
“This is a very sad tragedy. Our team at Mount Washington extends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of this young man,” noted Dean Prentice, the resort’s general manager. “Our hearts break for them. I would like to thank our first responders and dedicated staff for their efforts in this unfortunate situation.”
This is the third death of a skier/snowboarder on the mountain since 2015.
In January 2018, Stewart Elhorn, a 27-year-old logger from Campbell River died after he was found unresponsive in a treed area on Mount Washington. He had been off-piste (ungroomed area) within the resort’s boundary.
In 2015, Reid Michael Kyfick, 15, of Saanich was discovered dead in a three-metre-deep formation known as a “snow hole.”
According to the most recent report issued by the Ministry of Justice, there were 116 deaths in B.C. attributed to skiing or snowboarding between the years of 2007 to 2018. Within the Island Health region, there were four deaths within that timeframe.