Skip to content

Skier who fell into crevasse in Banff National Park has died

A GoFundMe account for mountain guide Rob Coppolillo’s family seeks to raise $25,000 USD. He fell into a crevasse while skiing on a remote glacier in Banff National Park last week.
Rob Coppolillo with his wife Rebecca Yarmuth and their two sons. GOFUNDME

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of a mountain guide who died after falling into a crevasse while skiing on a remote glacier in Banff National Park last week.

The man has been identified by friends and family as Rob Coppolillo, 54, who leaves behind his wife Rebecca Yarmuth and their two sons.

Friends and family describe Coppolillo, who was a writer, mountaineering guide and all-round climber, as “larger than life”, a “really caring soul”, “selfless”, “charismatic”, a “great storyteller” and one of the most knowledgeable and dialed mountain guides.”

“I’m devastated to share that we lost Rob to a high mountain accident in Canada,” said Pete Coppolillo in a social media post.

“He was doing what he loved – guiding people in the mountains.”

Coppolillo was the owner and operator of Vetta Mountain Guides, based out of Seattle, Washington, and was leading a trip in the Canadian Rockies when the accident occurred on Thursday (April 18).

Parks Canada officials say Banff dispatch received an emergency call from Icefall Lodge, located in a remote area near the Lyell Icefield on Thursday morning, and immediately sent a rescue team.

“The call reported that a member of a guided backcountry skiing party had fallen into a crevasse near Christian Peak in Banff National Park near the border of Alberta and British Columbia,” said James Eastham, a spokesperson for Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay field unit.

Three Parks Canada visitor safety specialists were flown by helicopter from Banff.

“Upon arrival, the skier had been extracted from the crevasse and first aid was being administered,” said Eastham.

“The visitor safety specialists continued First Aid and transported the seriously injured skier to Lake Louise where they were transferred to STARS air ambulance.”

STARS air ambulance flew a 54-year-old man in life-threatening condition to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary after he fell into a crevasse while skiing on a remote glacier in Banff National Park on Thursday.

Blake Robert, a communications officer for STARS, said the patient was suffering injuries “consistent with a fall in a mountainous area.”

“STARS was subsequently dispatched to a scene call emergency in the Lake Louise area this afternoon in response to a patient suffering injuries consistent with a fall in a mountainous area,” said Robert.

Stuart Brideaux, public education officer for Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services, said EMS also responded to the Lake Louise helipad to await arrival of a patient from Alpine Helicopters at about 11:50 a.m. Thursday (April 18).

“The patient had sustained a fall and required rescue from a crevasse. EMS and STARS assumed care of the adult in critical and life-threatening condition at Louise,” said Brideaux. “They were subsequently flown to Foothills Medical Centre, still in critical condition.”

The GoFundMe account for Coppolillo’s family seeks to raise $25,000 USD, and had raised more than $20,000 by Tuesday evening (April 23).

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks