Snowboarder dies in tree well
A Whistler/Blackcomb volunteer staff member died in a tree well when he snowboarded out of bounds while off duty, Feb. 27.
Management and staff of Whistler/Blackcomb are deeply saddened at the death of David John Lund, 23, of Vancouver.
"We continually tell people they should stay in bounds," says Whistler/Blackcomb President Doug Forseth. "If they go out of bounds they should be with someone else; they should be prepared for the backcountry with the right tools and a locator; and they should file a plan so they can be found."
The snowboarder was reported missing Feb. 27. Blackcomb Ski Patrol and Whistler Search & Rescue looked for the man until 8:45 p.m., then resumed the search aided by helicopter and dogs at first light, Feb. 28.
They found the man at 10:50 a.m., with the help of a ski patrol dog, about 200 metres outside the ski area boundary, below Xhiggy's Meadow near 7th Heaven, in an area referred to as "the Neverglades." Cause of death has yet to be determined, but he was dead at the scene in a deep tree well.
"Tree wells are up to 3 metres deep at this time of year," said Whistler's RCMP detachment Const. Warren Tomalty.
Lund had been with three others, but they didn't stay together on the same line down the mountain, Forseth says.
"That was very costly. If they had seen him go in the tree well, they would have had a chance to rescue him," Forseth says.
"It's such a shame, such a waste. We very seldom lose anyone who stays in bounds."