Whistler Heli Guide Dies
Lisa Korthals, a 49-year-old Whistler Blackcomb part time heli-skiing guide and realtor, has died after an avalanche on Wednesday.
RCMP said Korthals was buried in the slide in the South Creek backcountry area of Pemberton just after 2:30 p.m. The group had skied the slope earlier in the day with no incident. The resort said she was with a group of guests at the time.
Korthals, who lived in Pemberton, was taken to Whistler Medical Clinic after receiving first aid treatment in the field but died later that afternoon. None of the people on the tour were hurt.
Korthals is survived by her mountain explorer and ski crafter husband, Johnny “Foon” Chilton, and 12 year old son Ty. She was an exceptional community person who lived the Whistler lifestyle to the fullest. In her 25 plus years in Whistler was a river guide, alpinist, rock-climber, CSIA Level IV ski instructor, and Powder Eights World Champion. She also was the first woman to climb-and-ski Alaska’s forbidding University Peak. The community of Whistler is suffering from the tragic loss.
“Today is a difficult day for the Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts family. We lost a well loved member of our staff and community,” said Pete Sonntag, chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb. “Our hearts go out to her family, friends and fellow employees and we extend them our deepest condolences.”
Whistler Heli-Skiing is celebrating 37 years of service. They’ve been operating since 1981 and are Whistler’s most popular heli-ski company. Their exclusive tenure consists of 432,000 acres of classic, big mountain terrain including 173 glaciers and 475 runs in an area that is 50 times the size of Whistler Blackcomb.