by Andrew Zwicker on Thursday Jan 21 2010
A local man passed away last Friday on Red Mountain. This was the first death of the year on the ski hill.
On Friday, January 15th, 65 year old Gordon Earnest Reeve from Castlegar was up on the hill skiing with friends in the Paradise area. While coming down through the trees in the “Inagadadavida” trees alongside Southern Belle, he became separated from his group. His friends waited at the bottom of the Paradise Chair for him to catch up. When he didn’t show up they went back up to look for him and found him part way down the run in a tree well.
The weather at the time of the incident was cloudy, with snow falling. Red had received upwards of 40 centimetres of fresh snow in the four days prior to the accident which may or may not have contributed to the accident.
At press time the coroner's investigation was still ongoing and it had not yet been determined whether or not the death was the result of an accident or of natural causes.
This accident was the second skiing-related death of the year in the area with a Calgary man having passed away in an avalanche on Mt. Mackie a week prior while snowmobile skiing in the area. Officials warn all skiers and backcountry enthusiasts that the snowpack in this area remains relatively unstable and to always take proper precautions and ski with a buddy especially in the trees, even while skiing in bounds.