Pemberton professional skier Dave Treadway has died after falling into a crevasse off Rhododendron Mountain.
David MacKenzie of Pemberton Search and Rescue said Monday that a helicopter team had just finished rescuing an injured snowmobiler on the Pemberton ice cap when they got a call that a skier was in a crevasse.
The four-person team flew to the site, where the victim’s ski mates were waiting. Another helicopter from Whistler was called in, and, in total, 14 SAR volunteers helped recover the 38-year-old skier’s body.
MacKenzie said it was a difficult operation, due to the ice and the 30-metre depth of the crevasse.
He said the area the group was skiing in was reasonably accessible.
“It’s not uncommon to go anywhere in the ice-cap area,” he said. “Some of the backcountry core service roads go up so far and then you’re able to take snow machines into the backcountry. We are surrounded by these mountains and there are many, many access points.”
On Monday, the conditions were clear and bright.
MacKenzie said the crevasses are sometimes covered by an ice bridge.
“They can ski over that, it collapses, and down they go,” he said.
The RCMP and Pemberton SAR haven’t released the victim’s name. However, in an outpouring on social media, the man has been identified as Pemberton-based pro skier Dave Treadway. Treadway was married with two young children.
In recent years Treadway had been focusing on his young family, posting their adventures on the beach and in the mountains on Instagram under the handle freerange.family. Their motto is, ‘the family that plays together, stays together’.
Treadway’s death came just over nine years since he had to retrieve the body of good friend and ski buddy Jack Hannan, who died in an avalanche on Mount Currie. Hannan and Treadway were skiing together, with their partners, at the time and had been flown to the location.
In a March 31 Instagram, Treadway said he camped by a river so he could see the mountain where Hannan died. “I’m encouraged to chase after life and really LIVE as I smile up at the mountain and remember the twinkle in his eye saying, ‘Come on, let’s go adventure!’ Sure miss ya bud.”
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