Rossland native identified as avalanche victim

Sunday's fatal avalanche in Revelstoke claims local man

The man who died in an avalanche near Rogers Pass Sunday has been identified as a 38-year-old former Rossland resident, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.

Jason Westbury, who lived in Revelstoke at the time of his death, was testing the backcountry snow conditions in the bowl of Sifton Col in Glacier National Park on Sunday afternoon when the avalanche was triggered.

Two other skiers were waiting near the top of the ridge when the 2.5 category avalanche came down and buried him.

Westbury’s friends were able to dig him out and one stayed behind to apply CPR while the other skied back to Parks Canada at Rogers Pass for help. Parks Canada’s team of visitor safety and avalanche technicians responded immediately by helicopter but Westbury had died at the scene.

Westbury was born in 1974 in Trail and attended school in Rossland, graduating from Rossland Secondary School in 1992. He attended Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. for his first year of college and then Selkirk College in Castlegar.

An avid athlete, Westbury’s love for skiing took him around the world, gliding the slopes of Australia, Chile, Argentina, India, Switzerland, France and across B.C.

Westbury returned to school at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2000 to become an aircraft maintenance engineer, specializing in helicopter maintenance. His new profession took him across Western Canada, the Arctic and down into the United States, keeping Revelstoke as his home base.

A Memorial Service for Jason Westbury will be held on Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Cominco Gym in the Trail Memorial Arena.