World News

Elderly Skier Dies After Accidental Fall Into Tree Well

A 76-year-old man passed away this week after falling into a tree well while skiing at a resort in British Columbia’s southern Interior.

Trail RCMP responded to a report just after 3:30 p.m. March 5 of a man in critical condition at Red Mountain Resort just outside Rossland, located roughly 150 kilometres southeast of Kelowna.

The Rossland senior was discovered unconscious, buried under the snow in a tree well by another skier, police said in a press release. The Red Mountain’s volunteer ski patrol was called in and subsequently rescued the 76-year-old from the tree well.

Ski patrol members tried to revive the unconscious man before he was transported to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, police said. Paramedics continued resuscitation attempts en route to the hospital, but the Rossland man succumbed to his injuries.

Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich described the man as a “long-time, well-known Rossland resident with a deep passion for skiing.” The man’s name has not been released “out of respect for his family’s privacy,” Sgt. Wicentowich said.

“This loss marks a sad day for the City of Rossland,” he said. “We would like to thank everyone who responded to this incident, and for the valiant efforts to save his life. The attending officer informed me that those who responded gave every ounce of effort they had, and all of their expertise.”

Related Stories

The BC Coroners Service is investigating the death, police said.

Tree Well Dangers

Red Mountain Resort’s safety page says tree wells are formed as snow accumulates, creating a hole or depression around the base of a tree.

“A deep snow immersion incident occurs when a person falls into these holes and becomes entrapped,” the page says. “The more the person struggles, the more entrapped they become.”

Roughly 90 percent of people who fall into a tree well are unable to save themselves, according to ski safety organization Deep Snow Safety. If a fellow skier is not on-hand to pull a person from the well, such incidents are almost always deadly.

Most tree well accidents occur when a skier falls—usually headfirst—into a tree well and becomes immobilized by the snow, Deep Snow Safety said on its website.

“In an inverted position you can become trapped under the snow. Breathing becomes difficult as the loose snow packs in around you,” the site said. “If a partner is not there for immediate rescue, the skier or rider may die very quickly from suffocation—in many cases, he or she can die as quickly as someone can drown in water.”

Red Mountain Resort advises skiers to be on the lookout for tree wells and other areas of “unsupportive snow” such as creek beds, gully features, and natural depressions in the terrain.

The resort says dangerous tree well incidents and other accidents can best be avoided by not skiing alone. It also suggests maintaining visual contact and being in voice range of one’s ski partner to ensure falls don’t go unnoticed.

Source link


I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.