The Golden/Field RCMP and the Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) were involved in a backcountry rescue operation of a snowboarder on Saturday, Dec. 22.
At around 4 p.m., the Golden RCMP received information from a group of skiers who were ski touring on some Crown land in the backcountry area adjacent to the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The group explained that they had located a stranded male snowboarder in the Canyon Creek area.
The Golden / Field RCMP immediately activated GADSAR via the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP).
The skiers advised the RCMP that upon hearing the man’s cries for help, they located and followed the man’s lone tracks in the Canyon Creek area. A male was found in a physical and mental state of exhaustion but otherwise uninjured.
Search and rescue technicians were called out that day and when weather conditions became favourable, the man was flown out of the area via helicopter on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 23.
It was noted that the man was not equipped to either make his way out of the area or to spend any extended period of time in winter backcountry conditions.
In stark contrast to the ill-equipped man, the group of skiers who came to his aid was properly equipped for overnight touring. A portion of the skiers stayed with the man to await help, while the remainder of the group “skinned” their way out to get aid.
With a timely notification being received, the RCMP in turn activated the GADSAR team who were able to make it to the site at around 8 p.m. On arrival GADSAR moved the man to a safer location and established a base camp for the night.
“A big thank you goes out to this group of backcountry skiers and to our professional volunteers with GADSAR, for their help with this most recent rescue operation. We have what is shaping up to be another excellent winter for recreation in the B.C. backcountry this year, all first responders want to see people safely enjoying what is at our doorsteps in B.C. If your intentions are to venture outdoors, make sure that you have the gear, the training and area ,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, a provincial spokesperson for the RCMP.
Originally from London, Ontario and currently residing in Golden, the 40-year-old man has been a resident and winter enthusiast in a variety B.C. ski communities for several years. The man contended to authorities that he had inadvertently ended up outside of the resort marked controlled area boundaries.