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Woman Dies After Entering Off-Limits Terrain at Whistler Blackcomb

Backcountry skiers and snowboarders should exercise extra caution due to weak layers in the snowpack. Flickr Photo.

UPDATE: According to Whistler RCMP, the woman died as a result of falling over an embankment. Authorities believe that the woman would have died whether or not an avalanche had occurred. The News Au reports that the woman had unclipped from her board while in the closed area, and fell off a 650-foot cliff. 

Original story: A 42-year-old woman died Thursday after being caught in a skier triggered avalanche in a permanently closed section of Whistler Blackcomb.

RELATED: Pov Skier Gets Caught in Utah Avalanche

According to the Global News, the Australian woman and her riding partner were riding in an off-limits area above the Lakeside Bowl when the accident occurred. They survived the slide on the steep, rocky, south-facing slope and called for help. First responders whisked them from the slopes to the Whistler Health Care Center, where the woman eventually passed away from her injuries.

Prior to the slide, Avalanche Canada issued a special warning to be cautious of easily triggered avalanches due to the currently weak snowpack. The warning is in effect until Sunday.

Read more about avalanche safety and backcountry travel in TGR's Safety Week content.

About The Author

stash member Katie Lozancich

TGR Staff Writer and photographer. Fond of bikes, pow, and dogs. Originally from Northern CA, home for me has ranged from the PNW to a teepee in Grand Teton National Park.

My condolences to the family and the riding partner. I do wonder if the permanent closure is a popular OB area for side country turns or if it is a no go area without having done Avi assessment. The AC report combined with South facing has me wondering how avoidable this tragedy could have been. All the avalanche accidents at this time of year always make me err on the side of caution and pray for those heading into the backcountry to return home safely.

Its permanently closed. Bet your life that if there was the slightest chance that Whistler/Blackcomb could safely open the area for skiing, even under restricted conditions it would.

I am tired of reading about people who die because they think that they know so much more than they do. There is no snow, anywhere on earth that is worth dying over. Dead is dead for a really long time.

So awful, it’s a tragic accident either way. Feels like a lot of these accidents can certainly be prevented in the future by simply paying attention to warnings and not being stupid. People do insane stuff just for a thrill, like climbing on top of their house like roofers in RI to their own detriment.

Such a tragic accident. I can understand the appeal and the adrenaline rush from risky activities but safety should always be the priority. No matter the activity or job that is being performed, safety has to be the top priority. I’ve been a part of my fair share of home renovations and it’s a shame when others don’t take safety seriously. Hopefully, this acts as another warning for those on the slopes to stay safe.