Nelson Search and Rescue responded to their third call-out on the Kootenay Pass this ski season Friday.

Injured skier rescued on Kootenay Pass

A backcountry skier was rescued Saturday morning off the Kootenay Pass after spending about 20 hours with a painful injury.

A backcountry skier was rescued Saturday morning off the Kootenay Pass after spending about 20 hours with a painful injury.

Nelson Search and Rescue spokesman Chris Armstrong said they were paged between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Friday for a medical rescue following an accident “a good ways” in the backcountry. It did not involve an avalanche.

A dozen searchers responded, ten of whom skied in and reached the man by 9 p.m. — due to the time of the call, they weren’t able to fly in by helicopter.

Armstrong said the location was “quite severe” and they were prevented from getting the man out by darkness, snow, and steep terrain.

They called for more help and teams from South Columbia and Rossland search and rescue responded. However, due to the conditions they decided to stay the night.

Late Saturday morning, members of Kimberley and Castlegar search and rescue also responded, as well as Revelstoke, who brought in their long line rescue team to fly the man out to an ambulance.

He had a severe compound tibia fracture just above his ski boot, Armstrong said. “The poor guy spent 20 hours out there …  A very painful thing to be put through.”

He thought the man was in his 20s but did not know where he was from, nor how many others were in his party.

It’s the fourth incident local search and rescue has responded to on the pass this ski season. Armstrong said the accessibility of the area makes it one of their highest sources of call-outs. Ironically, he added, the more media coverage these sorts of rescues receive, the more people seek out that area.

“It’s the easiest point of access outside of a ski hill. You can get off the highway, walk for a few minutes and be in fantastic terrain,” he said. “But when you’re doing any form of rescue, the quicker the response the better. The distance to travel to the pass and then get into the backcountry adds up quickly.”

Armstrong said in this case, he understands the accident happened around noon but there was a significant delay before they received the call. Had it come sooner and more directly, “we would have been in there with a helicopter and plucked him out. He would have been in a hospital bed within a few hours.”

In all, about 30 people responded to the call, with 17 on the first day, including the Nelson contingent. “It’s a huge effort for a Friday night. It’s a lot of people coming from a long way to help an individual,” Armstrong said.

Just Posted

Two fires of note burning in Southeast Fire Centre

As of Saturday afternoon there were more than 20 fires burning in the Southeast Fire Centre.

Firefighters snuff out another vehicle fire near Fruitvale

Quick action Friday morning prevents fire from spreading to trees and grass

‘Farm the Kootenays’ creates supportive community

Helping hobbyists and serious producers alike, the Facebook group has grown to nearly 12,000 members

Brother’s determination pushes Ryan Cunningham to cycle 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

Polishing up the Silver City diamond

The B.C. Major Little League Provincial Championship begins Saturday at Andy Bilesky Park

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Ping-pong balls of fire dropped to merge two B.C. wildfires

The merger is considered successful by BC Wildfire Services

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

ZONE 1: Hannah Tracey looks to mom as role model while at BC Games

‘She has believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself,’ Tracey said at BC Summer Games in Cowichan

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read