Big White Ski Resort has been closed since March 16, in response to COVID-19. Photo Facebook

Big White Ski Resort has been closed since March 16, in response to COVID-19. Photo Facebook

‘All avoidable’: Man suffers back injury at closed Big White ski hill near Kelowna

Accident was “all avoidable” says Big White executive

A 19-year-old man was seriously injured Friday at Big White Ski Resort, despite the fact the facility has been closed for nearly a month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Chris Cormack of the Big White Fire Department said an individual came to the nearby fire hall around 3:10 p.m. to inform crew members of the injured man.

“We happened to have somebody at the hall who called dispatch, he said. “We had two trucks respond and eight members.”

The ski has been closed since March 16 due to COVID-19, and with no ski patrollers on site, Cormack said the situation could have ended far worse.

“Fortunately it was close to the fire hall and we were able to respond on foot, but if it was farther away it would have been a very different story.”

Crews walked across the snow to the Telus Park, where the man had injured his back.

Michael Ballingall, resort vice-president, said that the incident was “all avoidable.”

“They had to provide first aid, a backboard, a neck-brace, and physically walk him out to the road, at which time he was handed over to B.C. Ambulance and transported to Kelowna General Hospital.”

The man is being treated for a serious back injury.

Ballingall urged people to stay away from Big White until further notice.

“The mountain is closed, the creeks have started to run, the snow is shifting, and it is simply dangerous to be out on a mountain that is not patrolled, groomed, fenced or managed at this time,” he said.

“Please do not venture out on Big White Mountain. You are just putting yourself in danger, and first responders, plus those on the front lines in a position that is not necessary if they are required to provide you with care.”

READ MORE: Ski season at Big White comes to an early close due to COVID-19

Big White, located 56 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, is the third largest ski resort in B.C.

When the mountains and the resort village were shuttered on March 16, there were 6,000 people on site.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusKelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 (Pixabay)
Garibaldi secondary in Maple Ridge exposed to COVID-19

Fourth case of virus at a high school in School District 42 in 2021

Snow is expected Saturday night and Sunday morning in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. (THE NEWS-files)
Snowfall coming to Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows this weekend

Two-to-five centimetres expected for most of the Lower Mainland

Bowen Byram played for the Vancouver Giants and makes his NHL debut Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Vancouver Giants/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley-based Giants watching Byram’s NHL debut tonight closely

Bowen Byram played for the Giants for several years before being drafted by the Avalanche

U.S. politician Bernie Sanders sits on top of the horse clock. (Brenda Norrie/Special to The News)
U.S. politician Bernie Sanders pops up in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge residents get in on the meme action

The BC Hydro Dam at Alouette Lake. (The News files)
Alouette Lake boaters may be left high and dry

Hydro plans may bring down water levels of Maple Ridge lake in future summers

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Most Read