whistler blackcomb mountain

The death of a skier at Whistler Blackcomb (above) has shown the very real danger presented by tree wells. Photo: Courtesy of peanutian/Flickr

An off-duty employee at the Whistler Blackcomb resort died Tuesday after separating from her husband and skiing into a tree well at the Canadian ski resort.

According to officials with the resort, the yet-to-be-identified 32-year-old Whistler resident separated from her husband while skiing a wooded run on Blackcomb Mountain on Tuesday. After being unable to locate her, the victim’s husband phoned the mountain’s ski patrol at around 10:40 a.m.

RELATED: Father posts video of son’s terrifying near-death tree well experience

As ski patrol was searching for the missing skier, another member of the public reported finding an unresponsive skier in a tree well near the Last Resort ski run on the mountain roughly 40 minutes later. Upon locating the body of the resort employee, Blackcomb ski patrol, a mountain doctor, a paramedic and a nurse practitioner all attempted to resuscitate her to no avail, and the woman was pronounced dead on the mountain at 11:39 a.m.

RELATED: What you need to know about tree wells

“Whistler Blackcomb wishes to express its sincerest condolences to friends, family and co-workers for this sad loss,” the resort said in a statement.

The resort employee’s death only further underscored the danger posed to skiers and snowboarders by tree wells.

Tree wells are the areas of loose snow that form around the trunk of a tree that is covered in deep snow. When someone rides into a tree well, depending on the depth of the tree well, their entire body can be enveloped by snow, and the person can easily suffocate under the loose snow.

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