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

Young man seriously injured at shuttered ski resort near Kelowna

Accident was “all avoidable” says Big White executive

A young man was seriously injured April 10 at Big White Ski Resort, despite the fact the facility has been closed for nearly a month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Ballinggall, resort vice-president, reported on Facebook that the incident was “all avoidable.”

According to Ballingall the victim was with friends when an accident occurred in Telus Park.

He said firefighters trekked in to reach the injured man.

“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,” said a post in the Official Big White Facebook Group.

Ballingall said the man is being treated for a serious back injury.

“We once again ask you why? We ask you to stay way from Big White Ski Resort. 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. 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.”

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

The Big White Fire Department has not yet returned a request for comment.

Big White, located 56 km 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.

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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