Three mountain deaths in five days 

Two skiers and photographer's lives claimed

Three people died last week in the resort in separate incidents.

On Sunday a 32-year-old Vancouver man died after losing control while skiing a black diamond run and hitting a tree.

Robert James Crumlin was pronounced dead at the scene, suffering a fractured skull. He was not wearing a helmet.

He was skiing down Bear Paw to meet up with a friend and his fiancée when he lost a ski coming round a curve, flew up an embankment and crashed into the tree.

"There were several witnesses to the incident and death was immediate," said Whistler RCMP Sgt. Marc Levergne.

"It is a very unfortunate incident. It is such a great pastime and a great hobby."

Snow conditions at the time and place of the accident were reported as hard packed. Skies were clear and visibility was unlimited. The average temperature was —4 Celsius. Winds were calm.

Also on Sunday a 21-year-old male from the United States was found lying in the snow southwest of the Callaghan Lodge.

Levergne said Edward (Teddy) Knape of Grand Rapids, Michigan was known to have pre-existing medical conditions.

Police do not consider the death suspicious and an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Both police and the coroner’s office are investigating.

Knape was videotaping the first ever K2 Back Nine Invitational backcountry event. He was shooting for Theory Three films, which has recently fallen under the umbrella of Poor Boyz Productions.

"He was burning the whole day," said Mike Gutt of K2, adding that it was the first time Knape had filmed from a helicopter.

"It was an amazing day that he got to enjoy. What happened was very unfortunate but he passed doing something that he loved to do."

Brad Sills, an owner of Callaghan Country an exclusive backcountry lodge near the site of the death, was called out when Knape’s body was found by fellow K2 participants.

"It is a shock to see a 21-year-old collapsed before you," he said.

According to Sills, Knape had had heart surgery last summer.

Knape had no pulse and was not breathing when he was found. CPR was started immediately.

A helicopter attended the area and transported him to the Whistler Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier last week on Tuesday March 7 a 74-year-old man died after skiing into cornice debris in the Showcase T-Bar area around 11 a.m.

Manning "Manny" Norman, a volunteer with the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, sustained a chest injury on the mountain but was conscious and alert when Ski Patrol attended to him at the scene.

He died while being transported by ambulance from the Whistler Health Care Centre to Vancouver.

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