An accomplished 18-year-old skier died Saturday, March 21 after falling off a cliff on Blackcomb Mountain.
Cole Anderson of Campbell River, B.C. was skiing in a treed area with a ski-racing club visiting Whistler to train when he fell seven metres off a cliff into a patch of rocks. Although he was wearing a helmet at the time, the skier suffered massive blunt force trauma in the fall, said Whistler Blackcomb mountain operations manager Doug MacFarlane.
Patrollers were notified of the injured male in an off-piste area of the Crystal Zone at 3 p.m., where he was found unconscious and unresponsive.
A total of nine patrollers, two Whistler Blackcomb doctors and a paramedic attended the scene. A defibrillator was administered but attempts to revive Anderson were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 3:41 p.m.
Whistler RCMP and the BC Coroners Service continue to investigate the accident.
Anderson, a Grade 12 student at Timberline Secondary, was an experienced skier and member of the Mt. Washington Ski Club who earned several podium finishes in recent years, including gold in the U-16 category at the 2013 Teck B.C. Coast Zone competition.
MacFarlane expressed his condolences to Anderson's friends and family on behalf of Whistler Blackcomb, and reminded guests to ski safely and responsibly.
"The sport of skiing does have inherent risks and we spend a lot of time out there marking what we believe are the biggest hazardous areas," he said. "We ask that you take those seriously when you see them and not disrespect that signage. Ski within your abilities, know the geography and if you don’t know where you’re going, you shouldn’t go there."
Anderson's death is the second fatal accident at the ski resort this season. On Feb. 18, the body of Waterloo, Ont.'s Jaisal Chauhan, 30, was found after an overnight search in a treed area of the Harmony Bowl on Whistler Mountain.
This article has been edited to include the identity of the deceased skier.