Snowboarder dies at South Lake Tahoe resort

Skiers and snowboarders on a slope lined by conifers.
Skiers and snowboarders make their way down a run at Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe on Jan. 17.
(Brontë Wittpenn / San Francisco Chronicle)

A 46-year-old snowboarder died at a South Lake Tahoe resort Wednesday.

“Heavenly Mountain Resort regretfully confirms that a serious incident took place on the mountain Wednesday, March 1, 2023, involving a 46-year-old male,” the resort said in an emailed statement.

The resort’s ski patrol responded to the incident, which occurred on an “expert” trail. The man was taken to a resort base lodge, where he was pronounced dead.

The snowboarder was identified as Wesley Whalen of New York, SF Gate reported.

People in the Southern California mountains have been trapped in their homes for days by heavy snow after a series of winter storms.

March 3, 2023

Whalen was found in a tree well, the space between the lowest branches and the ground, where snow can be less compacted, SF Gate said.


“Heavenly Mountain Resort, Heavenly Ski Patrol, and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” Tom Fortune, vice president and chief operating officer of Heavenly, said in the statement.

The incident occurred after an intense winter storm dropped several feet of snow on the area, with Heavenly reporting 24 inches of snow in the 24 hours before Wednesday.