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Skier and snowboarder die at separate Kootenay mountains on Friday

Two people are dead after a grim Friday at a pair of mountains in BC’s Kootenay region.

It started around 12:30 pm when emergency crews were alerted to a snowboarder found unresponsive in a tree well in an out of bounds area of Whitewater Ski Resort.

“The patient was transported to a secondary location within the resort, where emergency medical responders took over CPR,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“Despite all their efforts, the man was pronounced deceased by emergency paramedics.”

He’s since been identified as a Central Kootenay man in his 30s, but his name will not be released.

Just a few hours later, around 4:30 pm, a similar incident happened at the nearby Fernie Alpine Resort.

Elk Valley RCMP received a report of a skier who was discovered unresponsive in the snow amongst the trees after getting separated from his ski partner.

“He immediately called for support from the Fernie Alpine Resort’s ski patrol, who responded to the scene,” said O’Donaghey.

“The patient was transported off the mountain by ski patrollers, and to a local hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. Sadly, despite the efforts of all involved, the skier was later pronounced deceased in hospital.”

Also in his 30s, the skier was identified as a Fernie man who was originally from his Quebec and police are withholding his identity as well.

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