Volunteer patroller dies on Blackcomb 

Chris Baines sustained severe head injuries as a result of hitting a tree

A volunteer ski patroller has died after hitting a tree on Blackcomb Mountain.

Chris Baines, 33, a first year ski patroller, was skiing on Sunday, his day off, when the accident occurred.

Friend and co-worker Nan Kumlin described Baines, who worked as a bartender at The Mix, as someone who “had a positive impact on all our lives.”

“(Baines) had the most amazing outlook on life and always brought a smile to those around (him).  The Mix will miss our favorite bartender and that smile that seemed to light up the entire room.

“(He) will always hold a special place in all our hearts.”

According to Whistler-Blackcomb, it appears he lost his skis or lost control while he was skiing ahead of two companions on the intermediate run called Rock and Roll.

There were no witnesses to the accident. His friends found him unconscious at the side of the run. He was not wearing a helmet.

One of his companions, also a ski patroller, began to administer first aid while the other skied to the closest lift to get help.

Baines suffered severe head injuries.

Patrol members, including a doctor, arrived quickly and performed CPR before Baines was air-lifted off the mountain to Whistler Medical Clinic and then on to Vancouver General Hospital.

Baines was originally from Montreal but had lived in the Whistler area for about 10 years.

The snow conditions were good at the time of the accident, with packed powder. Visibility was variable and winds were light.

Baines died Monday night at VGH.

"Whistler-Blackcomb wishes to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased for this tragic accident," said Doug Forseth, senior vice president of operations.


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