A member of the Red Mountain ski patrol during a training session last year. (File photo)

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

Search and rescue crews were scrambled Wednesday afternoon to save an injured skier caught in an avalanche near Red Mountain in Rossland.

The man was among a group of four people skiing in the backcountry near Mount Kirkup, just outside the boundaries of Red Mountain Resort, when the avalanche occurred.

Two people in the party were caught in the avalanche and partially buried. One skier extricated himself but was unable to free the other.

The skier then headed across the difficult terrain to the highway.

“It took him about 45 minutes to the point where he could get to a road and have cell coverage and was able to contact help,” said Graham Jones of Rossland Search and Rescue (SAR).

The Red Mountain ski patrol was closest to the scene and five of its members responded at about 2:30 p.m., Jones said.

“They went in with a toboggan and extracted the injured gentleman,” he said. “They put in an extremely difficult and demanding job to get to the site, and were able to stabilize and load him.”

By then a SAR team had arrived and deployed snowmobiles to help in the recovery effort.

The injured skier had to be moved out by sled to the highway and was taken by ambulance for treatment.

“The ski patrol consisted of five of their really well-qualified and best-trained people,” said Jones. “The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did.

“It worked out really well. It could have gone sideways really easily.”

The rescue operation finished at about 6 p.m. There was no word on the injured skier’s condition Thursday.

Jones said it’s important for people to be aware of backcountry conditions and be prepared for avalanches.

“The new snow we had, the type of terrain, even though the avalanche rating was moderate — that’s a general description,” he said.

“If you look at specific areas where there is different land formation, or outcrops, or lack of trees or there’s wind channels, where snow can pile up over surrounding terrain, it can be much more dangerous.

“No one plans to get caught in an avalanche. Bring transceivers, probes, shovels, skins for your skis,” he added. “Those who go out of bounds without that equipment are foolhardy and setting themselves up for possible major issues.”



reporter@rosslandnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Members of Red Mountain’s ski patrol, seen here in a file photo, were first on the scene for the back-country rescue. (File photo)

Just Posted

RDCK asks province for more powers to regulate private land logging

‘If the province won’t step up, we will have to’

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Close to 1000 people expected to hear international evangelist Angus Buchan this weekend

The Mighty Men’s Conference is taking place in Castlegar June 28-30.

Pass Creek farmers encouraged to plan ahead to save animals

Firesmart info session planned for Monday, June 24 at Pass Creek Community Hall

RDCK chair: No comment on Castlegar Mayor’s FCM trip

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference costs about $3,600 per delegate

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Case of missing Kootenay teen still unsolved 50 years later

Phillip Porter, age 16, disappeared near his home in Kimberley on June 26, 1969

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Most Read