A young skier is dead after falling into a tree well on Hollyburn Mountain Saturday afternoon.
The 26-year-old Vancouver resident was skiing in the backcountry area of Cypress Mountain when went over a steep ravine into a muddy creek embankment, according to West Vancouver Police.
His friend and two nearby snowshoers came to his aid, called 9-1-1 performed CPR while North Shore Rescue volunteers and Cypress Mountain patrol members came to the scene.
“We don’t know the exact of cause of death but he went into cardiac arrest in the tree well,” said Tim Jones, NSR team leader.
The team used their helicopter and long-line rescue gear to hoist the man out of the tree well, and transfer him to a waiting ambulance.
He was taken directly to Vancouver General Hospital, which was equipped with a heart/lung bypass equipment but was later pronounced dead, Jones said.
At the time of the distress call, North Shore Rescue volunteers were busy trying to corral a dog missing on Mount Seymour. Ironically, that meant rescuers had a faster response time to the downed skier because they were already mobilized and nearby.
“Every chance for his survival was given as a trickle effect of us being on that dog rescue because we were so quick getting over there,” Jones said.
Police will not be releasing the victim’s name at the request of his family.