Search for snowshoer caught in avalanche halted over bad weather

Feb 19 2019, 8:29 pm

Rescue teams have postponed their search for a snowshoer in the Mt. Seymour area who was swept away by an avalanche because of dangerous conditions.

On February 18, at approximately 10 am, North Vancouver RCMP received a 9-1-1 call from a hiker in distress. He and his friend were snowshoeing in an area between ‘Runners Peak’ and Mount Elsay when they were caught in an avalanche.

avalanche

North Shore Rescue/Facebook

The caller, a 30-year-old Surrey male, was able to stay safe by hanging onto a tree, however, he lost sight of his friend.

Emergency services were quickly activated and North Shore Search & Rescue (NSSR) attended the scene, although a mix of poor weather and a remote location made it difficult to reach the stranded man.

“It’s quite a remote area and the challenge from yesterday was that there was very unusual avalanche activity,” says Mike Danks, NSSR Manager.

avalanche

North Shore Rescue/Facebook

Many hours later, at approximately 5 pm, the caller was airlifted off the mountain and was checked over. Fortunately, he had no serious injuries.

“There was significant hangfire above the area where crews were working,” Danks explains. “We actually had a team from Whistler help with avalanche control and a small aircrew extracted the caller.”

Unfortunately, due to a lack of daylight and dangerous terrain conditions, search and rescue teams were forced to call off the search for the other hiker, Remi Michalowski, a 39-year-old male from Surrey.

“Current conditions aren’t great right now,” says Danks. “Once there’s an improvement in the weather, we’re going to be focusing on getting aircraft in and bringing crews into the area.”

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