A Vermont woman is dead after reportedly falling from the popular Black Tusk mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park on Monday, July 10.
Police originally reported that 28-year-old Nicole Killian was hiking in the late morning when she fell off the so-called “Chimney” portion of Black Tusk, a nearly vertical section and climbing route near the mountain’s peak, but Whistler Search and Rescue manager Brad Sills clarified on Wednesday, July 12 that the woman fell from the mountain's summit.
Whistler RCMP, in response, said it stood by its original report, based on multiple witness accounts. In turn, Sills said it was virtually impossible for Killian to have fallen from the Chimney section of the mountain, based on the location her body was recovered from.
Along with RCMP, members of Whistler Search and Rescue and BC Ambulance paramedics—including an air ambulance—attended the scene to provide medical aid. Killian succumbed to her injuries a short time later, police said.
A member of the Richmond rescue team in her native Vermont, Killian was a nurse practitioner who would “want everyone to be safe in their travels and in the backcountry wherever they may be,” Mounties said in a release.
“Nicole was a rescuer of dogs and people alike. She loved her friends and family deeply,” read a statement from the Killian family provided to police. “She had just earned her doctorate as a Nurse Practitioner from NYU after working tirelessly in the ER and Rescue. She was impeccably herself and is irreplaceable.”
RCMP, the BC Coroners Service and BC Parks will work on a joint investigation into the fatal incident, police said.
Anyone who was in the area at the time with relevant information is encouraged to contact the Whistler RCMP detachment at 604-932-3044.
Pique will continue to follow this story if more information becomes available.
This story has been updated since publication to include information from Whistler Search and Rescue.