Sad news coming out of British Columbia today. A 49-year old father and 10-year old daughter were found dead on May 13th at Blackcomb ski resort. The two were skiing and camping in the Blackcomb glacier area inside Garibaldi Provincial Park over the weekend when a boulder fell onto their tent. The 2 skiers were reported missing on Sunday, May 12th.
“The report was that a father/daughter duo had gone up Blackcomb Mountain on May 11th to camp out overnight and ski tour. They were to check in on the 12th around 1600hrs (4 p.m.) When they failed to check in as planned we received a call.” – RCMP Sgt. Rob Knapton, operations NCO for Whistler RCMP
The following morning, May 13th, searchers found a tent just below an area called “The Windlip.”
“The tent was located at the base of a rock face.” – Rob Knapton
“From our investigation it appears that a large boulder fell from the rock face at some point, landing on the tent with both occupants inside and killing them both.” – Rob Knapton
The terrain around the Horstman Glacier & Blackcomb Glacier zones was closed on May 12th due to avalanche danger. The Blackcomb Glacier zone has been closed since May 6th due to the construction of the new Crystal Ridge Express chairlift.
“It does not appear to be a matter of inexperience. It’s just an unfortunate, terribly tragic accident that happened.” Rob Knapton
This event likely occurred due to the freeze-thaw cycle that happens this time of year. Water between rocks freezes and thaws through diurnal cycles and results in rock movement and falling rock. We all need to keep this in mind when choosing campsites this spring.
Our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the deceased.