Backcountry skier caught in South Okanagan avalanche

Penticton Search and Rescue volunteers evacuated an avalanche victim from an area east of Apex Mountain Resort on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

PENTICTON - Penticton Search and Rescue volunteers rescued an injured backcountry skier who had been caught in an avalanche near Apex Mountain Resort yesterday afternoon.

Randy Brown with search and rescue says they were called to a report of a 35-year-old man buried in an avalanche east of the resort at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 4.

Four backcountry skiers, equipped with avalanche beacons — and fortunate to have good cell service — were able to dig out their buried partner while maintaining a communication link with rescue personnel, according to a Penticton Search and Rescue media release.

A rescue team was airlifted into the area where the injured skier was located and brought out to a road, where he was transferred to an ambulance. The unidentified skier’s injuries are not known, but not deemed to be life threatening.

The search and rescue volunteers coordinated the rescue efforts with staff at the ski resort and a Ministry of Transportation avalanche technician was able to assist in the evacuation.

Brown warns that the avalanche risk remains high and people should be prepared when venturing into the backcountry.

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