A massive effort to save the life of a snowboarder at Big White Ski Resort ended tragically Tuesday.
An off-duty doctor, ski patrollers and paramedics tried to keep the 22-year-old man alive after skiers found him lying upside-down in a creek bed. Emergency doctors tried to revive him in hospital, but soon determined it wasn't viable and pronounced him dead that evening.
Nickolas Voyer-Taylor was suffering from severe hypothermia, Kelowna RCMP said.
"(He) was found partially submerged in water, buried in snow, seriously injured and apparently suffering from severe hypothermia," said Const. Kris Clark, RCMP spokesman. "While being extricated from the ski hill, (his) condition quickly deteriorated."
The Winnipeg man, who worked at the resort restaurant Snowshoe Sam's, was snowboarding with friends in the Sapphire Glades area below the Falcon chair. He got separated from the group about
11:30 a.m., fell and came to rest head-first in the gully, said resort vice-president Michael Ballingall.
"The snow was quite deep there."
Other skiers came across him about three hours later. They notified the ski patrol, and members attended to him right away. The patrollers used a defibrillator, which applies electric shocks to restore a normal heartbeat, as well as CPR and other life-saving measures.
They moved Voyer-Taylor 200 metres onto Village Way, where a doctor stopped to help and administered drugs.
The group worked on him as he was transported to the Westridge parking lot.
An ambulance was waiting. Two ski patrollers, the doctor and a paramedic worked on him as they drove to Kelowna General Hospital.
The patrollers failed to find a helmet where Voyer-Taylor fell, but he wore a balaclava, Ballingall said. He was a cook at the restaurant.
Firefighters counselled some of his friends and most of the staff. People who need more counselling will be referred to RCMP Victim Services, Ballingall said.
Voyer-Taylor's family has been notified. The death is the first at Big White this season. The B.C. Coroners Service was considering whether to order an autopsy on Wednesday.