Snowboarder rescued after being partially buried by avalanche in North Shore mountains

·2 min read

North Shore Rescue say ground crews have rescued a snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche in the backcountry on Tuesday afternoon in Cypress Provincial Park.

Team leader Mike Danks said rescue crews received a call at about 4:15 p.m. from a friend of the person who needed help.

Danks said the man had been involved in a small avalanche and couldn't get out of the area on his own.

"He was stuck, basically buried up to his waist. So we had crews responding into that area. The conditions are not optimal for sending people in the field, but because of the restriction of daylight for the helicopter, were not able to get crews into that area."

By 10 p.m. the man had been transported to Cypress Resort and was to be taken to hospital.

Danks said the man was confused and hypothermic, and may have suffered a pelvis fracture and injury to his shoulder.

Complex rescue

Ground teams were led by an avalanche forecaster and professional ski guide.

The rescue was complex and involved two avalanche professionals, a doctor, an emergency nurse, a paramedic, and multiple rope rescue technicians, according to a Facebook post from North Shore Rescue.

Talon Helicopters were eventually deployed along with North Shore Rescue's air operations team, and Cypress ski patrol, who also performed a rope rescue.

North Shore Rescue warns that avalanche conditions are considerable, and are a danger to the lives of rescue crews as well as those they help.

Danks said this snowboarder was "very lucky" given the circumstances.

"He was out of bounds, caught in an avalanche. No avalanche safety equipment with them, no one else with them, either. So those are really big risks to take in conditions like this."

He advises people to call 911, not friends, if they are caught in an avalanche so it's easier for crews to find them.