Two dead on the mountain

By David F. Rooney

Two skiers were killed and a third injured after they skied out of bounds at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Thursday.

Sgt. Art Kleinsmith of the Revelstoke RCMP detachment said the three were from Grimsby, Ont., and consisted of a father, his teen-aged son and the boy’s friend. The deceased were identified as Steve Babb, 47, of Grimsby, Ont., and Sam Vogl, 17, also of Grimsby. Babb’s son, Colin, age 16, survived with a serious ankle injury.

“The party of three skied into a steep, hard-packed, icy chute,” he said. “In an attempt to ascend the chute, the party removed their skis. The three fell during the ascent and slid approximately 100 metres and over a cliff.”

The father and his son’s friend were killed. The other teenager suffered a badly injured ankle.

The chute is apparently near Greely Bowl, where a skier fell through a cornice 10 days ago.

“It’s hard to understand what they were thinking,” Kleinsmith said.

The boundary is well marked and RMR goes out of its way to warn skiers to stay in-bounds yet skiers continue to ignore the dangers of backcountry skiing in unfamiliar terrain.

“It’s frustrating,” he said.

The resort issued a statement late Friday extending “its deepest condolences to the families involved with the recent tragic events that occurred on Thursday January 28, 2010 outside the RMR area boundary.”

Kleinsmith said in his statement autopsies have been ordered by the BC Coroners’ Service.