The snowboarder, identified by friends as Windsor resident Cooper Plaxco, was found dead on Christmas Day at Blackcomb Mountain, part of the Whistler Blackcomb resort in British Columbia.
Plaxco, 20, was reported missing at about 4 p.m. the previous day, resort officials said. A search team looked for him for a couple of hours, but had to stop due to poor weather conditions and darkness.
The search resumed Saturday morning, and Plaxco was found in a creek that flows through a forested area on Blackcomb Mountain, resort officials said.
Plaxco, who was visiting the resort with his family, was within the ski area boundary but off of the designated run, officials said.
Resort officials said low visibility due to bad weather appears to be to blame for the accident.
There had been more than five and a half feet of new snow in the week prior to the accident, and at the time Plaxco was reported missing, there were high winds, heavy snowfall, and the temperature was below zero, officials said.
Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Plaxco went into the creek and was unable to extricate himself.
It is unclear what exactly caused his death, LeClair said.
"There are a number of possibilities, hypothermia, drowning or some other injury," he said.
Plaxco graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 2009 and was in his sophomore year at Humboldt State University, his friend Jake Larkin said.
Larkin, 22, said he had known Plaxco for eight years from skateboarding in Windsor, where they both lived.
Plaxco loved "a lot of board sports and outdoor stuff, hiking, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing," Larkin said. "He was one of the best."
He said the friends he shared with Plaxco have been in shock since hearing about the death.
"It's hard because this is the kind of thing you wouldn't expect to happen to a person like him," Larkin said. "He really was a good person. The whole time I knew him, I can't think of a time he's ever brought any kind of negativity to anybody else.
"He was just a decent guy in every way," he said.