Tobogganing not an option on Whistler Blackcomb ski slopes 

Recent death at Kicking Horse Resort a reminder on safety

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Sliding down a ski run on uncontrollable equipment can be a fatal mistake.

Late last month a 27-year-old Calgary man decided to tube down a closed run at 1:00 a.m. on the lower slopes of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, but hit a wooden fence post and high speed and died.

He was with a group of adults at the time.

Security personnel from KHMR were notified and both BC Ambulance and the RCMP were dispatched to the scene. He was transported to Golden and District Hospital where he passed away from his injuries.

"He hiked roughly five towers up under the Catamount quad chair, roughly a kilometre in length," said Jordan Petrovics, Media Relations Manager for KHMR.

"He got going a little too fast and crashed into a wooden fence post."

Petrovics stressed that the accident happened outside of the tube park when the resort was closed and there was clear signage at the bottom of the hill to not hike up. Similar warnings can be found on the resort trail map and on the back of every lift ticket.

"This is a very tragic event, our sympathies and go out to the family for what they are going through right now," said Petrovics.

The case is currently under investigation by Golden RCMP and the BC Coroners Service.

Tobogganing of any sort is not allowed on the ski slopes of Whistler Blackcomb (WB), the Tube Park is the only place where people are allowed to slide down under supervision of WB staff. The run out zones of the tubing slopes have sufficient room to slow down and have hay bales as an added precaution. All tubes are secured at night in storage facilities.

"We have had people tobogganing on our property illegally, but never with these kinds of consequences," said Brian Leighton, Whistler Blackcomb Safety Manager.

"We have had people injured when they have struck solid objects or run into other people near the base areas. That's why we don't allow it. Tobogganing in general can be quite a dangerous undertaking because you don't really have any control over where you are going."

People who come out of bars later at night will sometimes try to slide on the lower slopes of the mountain and if they don't listen to security personnel then the RCMP is called to respond.

"We don't want to do that, but sometimes you need to protect people from themselves," said Leighton.

Whistler Blackcomb runs extensive night operations to prepare the resort for the next day including food and beverage transportation, grooming and snowmaking. Skiing or riding the resort at night is strictly prohibited.

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