It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the death of Kiwi mountain guide, Lewis Ainsworth, the fourth fatality in the Northern Escapes Heli Ski helicopter crash last week.

Lewis was president of the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association and was a credited IFMGA Mountain guide who had worked for Alpine Guides Aoraki Mt Cook as well as Southern Lakes Heli Ski. He also worked as Mount Cook Search and Rescue, a ski patroller in the Southern Lakes, an avalanche forecaster and a hard ice glacier guide.

An avid climber, the thirty five year old had completed nine ascents of Mt Cook Aoraki.

Lewis Ainsworth.

He was working in his role as a heli guide when the helicopter crash took place near Terrace in Northern British Columbia on January 22.

Three died in the crash and Lewis was one of four critically injured and transported to hospital.

“Lewis is a highly respected member of the New Zealand and international mountaineering and skiing community. He is loved by many and will be dearly missed by all those who have been fortunate enough to know Lewis and have shared in his passion for being in the mountains,” said a statement on behalf of Ainsworth’s family.

“Lewis’ family would like to thank all who have been involved in the search and rescue operation and medical care of Lewis over the past week.”

Ainsworth is survived by his partner Sarah, parents Marney Ainsworth and Joe Tonner and his 10-year-old daughter.

The family and friends of Lewis have asked for privacy during the difficult time.

Our thoughts are with Lewis, his family and friends, the heli ski industry at large and all that knew him.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.