It’s still 20 days until <a href="https://www.bigwhite.com/geo/kel" target="_blank">Big White Resort</a> opens for the season, however some are getting a little too eager. Trespassers have been sneaking onto the resort to enjoy powder, something the resort is hailing as ‘extremely dangerous’. (File)

It’s still 20 days until Big White Resort opens for the season, however some are getting a little too eager. Trespassers have been sneaking onto the resort to enjoy powder, something the resort is hailing as ‘extremely dangerous’. (File)

‘History shows people get hurt’: Big White reacts to trespassers on resort

Resort says ‘mother nature is in charge’ when there isn’t enough snow on the mountain

It’s still 20 days until Big White Resort opens for the season, however, some are getting a little too eager.

Trespassers have been sneaking onto the resort to enjoy the powder, something the resort is hailing as ‘extremely dangerous’.

Although they couldn’t give details, resort Senior Vice President, Michael Ballingall confirmed Nov. 5 an individual or individuals sneaked onto the resort last weekend.

“It’s incredibly dangerous,” he said, adding that ‘everybody gets excited’, but that ‘mother nature is in charge’ when there isn’t enough snow on the ground.

This isn’t the first time this year the resort has dealt with trespassers.

“There have been some broken snowboards already this year, there’s been a few minor accidents,” said Ballingall. “We understand the excitement, but we also have seen the injuries.”

In the past, serious injuries have resulted from people sneaking onto the resort before the season begins. There have been some trespassers needing a technical rescue by the fire department and first aid attendants.

“We had a significant back injury last year, the young man is still recovering,” said Ballingall.

Furthermore, as there’s no easy access to some areas on the resort when it’s not up and running, according to Ballingall, which puts everyone at risk.

“First-aiders have to trudge through the environment to get to someone to render first aid. It puts everybody’s life in jeopardy,” he said, adding, “We do everything we can to keep people off the mountain, but people break the rules, they go out there and they get hurt.”

The resort was graced with early season snowfall in October. However, Ballingall explained that snowcat drivers, when grooming the mountain, aren’t expecting to see snowboarders or skiers when they come over a hill.

READ MORE: Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Besides the possibility of a life-threatening injury, sneaking onto the resort could be season-ending. Anyone caught trespassing will have their season’s pass revoked.

Ballingall stressed he understands the excitement of seeing the first snowfall, adding he was a kid once too. He said this excitement is evident in neighbourhoods as children build snowmen and toboggan down local hills. However he said on the mountain, it’s a different story.

“Up in the mountains, mother nature is in control there. Until we deem the slope safe to be on, it’s not safe to be on. And we can only attest to history, and history shows that people get hurt.”

Looking forward, with rain currently falling on the mountain, Ballingall said he’s praying for snow.

To learn more about Big White Resort, click here.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP seize drugs, weapons from Rutland home

READ MORE: Kelowna council to consider rental-only, affordable housing on Harvey Avenue

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Crime

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

A committee held its first meeting on June 9 to consider opionions for incorporation of the community of Okanagan Falls. At present, Okanagan Falls is the largest unincorporated community within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. (Contributed)
Study begins for Okanagan Falls incorporation

Committee held first meeting on June 9

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

File photo
Princeton mayor ready to support referendum if proposal for $7 million loan gets defeated

A proposal to borrow $7 million to fix town infrastructure may well… Continue reading

Directors and alternate directors at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received nearly $560,000 in remuneration and expenses in 2020, according to the Statement of Financial Information. (Black Press file photo)
Almost $560,000 in remuneration for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board

Costs of directors and alternate directors outlined in Statement of Financial Information

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read