The avalanche occurred in the region of Mt. Kirkup. (File photos)

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

Rock climbers to get new facility in Rossland

City leases space in Miner’s Hall for bouldering club

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmor Junction

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

RED resort announces new ski lift

Topping lift will add new ski area to resort, reduce bottleneck on Motherload chair

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read