Cole Robert Anderson
Born: March 13, 1997 (Duncan, British Columbia)
Died: March 21, 2015 (Whistler, British Columbia)
Cole Anderson, an accomplished skier from Campbell River on Vancouver Island, died after falling more than 12 metres from a cliff on Blackcomb Mountain. He had turned 18 just eight days earlier.
Despite his young age, Anderson was a 10-year veteran of Mount Washington ski teams. He had won medals in regional competitions and a month before his fatal accident had competed at the national alpine junior championships.
Anderson and fellow ski racers from Vancouver Island were free skiing on Blackcomb after having spent a day ski-race training at the Dave Murray National Training Centre on Whistler Mountain. The Mount Washington club was training at Whistler because of poor snow conditions at their home facility.
The accident happened when Anderson was skiing in and out of trees near a cliff edge on a trail next to Crystal Ridge, a black diamond run on Blackcomb. He landed on trees and rocks. He was reached almost immediately by teammates and his coach, a trained paramedic, and he was treated by two doctors within minutes of the accident, but still succumbed to his injuries at the scene. He had been wearing a helmet.
The athlete, who competed in International Ski Federation events in the under-18 category, most recently finished 56th in the giant slalom at a competition on March 10 at Red Mountain, near Rossland, B.C.
In late February, he finished 71st in the Super G at the national championships at Naiska, Alta. Days later, at the national junior championships on the same mountain, he competed in the slalom, giant slalom, and Super G events.
The young skier was awarded his club’s Ben Bellemy Memorial Award for his sportsmanship, leadership and passion for skiing.
He had achieved a Level I coach certification from the Canadian Ski Coach Federation and a Level II certification from the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association.
Anderson was to graduate from Timberline Secondary in Campbell River later this year.