Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

A male snowboarder found unresponsive in a treed area on Mount Washington has died.

Dale Logan, Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s risk manager, confirmed Tuesday morning that on the afternoon of Jan. 22, the snowboarder had been off-piste (ungroomed area) within the resort’s boundary.

The incident has been turned over to the BC Coroner Service.

“This is a very sad tragedy,” stated Mount Washington Alpine Resort general manager Peter Gibson, in a release. “Everyone here at the resort sends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends. I would like to thank our dedicated patrol staff for their assistance.”

Sheila Rivers, marketing manager for Mount Washington, told The Record the area in which the snowboarder was found is considered “outside the runs that we groom.”

She could not confirm if the death was related to the intense snowfall the resort received within the past few days.

At this point in the investigation, the cause of death is unknown.

Rivers noted it is the first death at the ski resort since a Saanich teen died in 2015 while snowboarding.

Reid Michael Kyfiuk, 15, was discovered dead in a three-metre-deep formation known as a “snow hole.”

RELATED: Saanich teen’s 2015 snowboarding death ruled an accidental drowning

According to the most recent report issued by the Ministry of Justice, there were 96 deaths attributed to skiing and snowboarding from 2007 to 2016.

Rivers added the resort cannot confirm if the death occurred in a tree well, and noted the coroner will be investigating further.

-With files from John McKinley

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