30-year-old skier dies in Pemberton back country avalanche
VANCOUVER, B.C. – A 30-year-old skier died when caught by an avalanche while skiing with three friends on Thursday in the Pemberton back country.
The dead man,Duncan MacKenzie of Whistler, Pemberton, was known as an experienced skier.
The four were skiing in the Casper creek area, north of Pemberton when MacKenzie was caught in the avalanche at about 3:00 pm on Thursday and swept 1,800 metres down the mountainside.
His mates found him later, severely injured and unconscious. One skier stayed with MacKenzie, administering CPR, while the other two went to seek help.
With falling darkness and stormy weather conditions efforts to reach the injured man first by a local area helicopter, and then by an airforce plane were called off in favour of a ground search and rescue team which reached the two men hours later.
An RCMP helicopter crew evacuated the dead skier and his friend by 12:30 pm.
All four skiers were experienced and well-equipped, and took all necessary precautions for their safety, said Sgt. Peter Thiessen, Senior Media Relations Officer with EDIV and the Lower Mainland District Regional Police Service.
“A high avalanche warning for the area had been in effect and we urge even the most experienced back country enthusiasts to stay out of these type of areas when such warnings are in place. It is not worth your life.”