A 24-year-old Australian snowboarder visiting Whistler was killed on Thursday, Jan. 17 after falling in a steep, treed area to skier's right of Ratfink and suffering head trauma.
The male has since been identified by Australian media as Brad Muster of Freeling, Australia — a well-known soccer and cricket player from the area.
Muster and his girlfriend "found themselves in steeper terrain than they were able to handle and removed their snowboards in an attempt to walk down the steep slope," according to a release from the RCMP. "The male slipped, slid down the slope and impacted with some trees."
A ski patroller was at the scene and providing CPR by 11:15 a.m., and within minutes was joined by other patrollers and two on-mountain doctors. The male was then taken by helicopter to the Whistler Health Care Centre, and then transferred by helicopter a hospital in Vancouver where he died shortly after 7 p.m.
Whistler Blackcomb's Critical Incident Team is providing support to those involved and expressed their condolences to the male's family and friends. As well, Whistler Blackcomb is advising all guests to be familiar with the terrain before travelling off-piste (groomed, marked areas within the ski area boundary).
It was the second death on Whistler Mountain in as many weeks. On Jan. 7, 43-year-old Sean Miller fell roughly 70 feet to his death after skiing off a cliff in an area known as Tiger's Terrace. The coroner's office is investigating the incident, while Whistler Blackcomb announced plans last week to increase markings in in-bounds cliff areas.