Crews resume search for snowshoers missing in B.C. wilderness

Skiers and snowboarders arrive at the Cypress Mountain ski resort in West Vancouver, Thursday, Dec.29, 2016. Crews have resumed a search this morning, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 for two snowshoers missing in the backcountry of Vancouver's North Shore.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER - For the first time in days, conditions over Vancouver's North Shore mountains are crystal clear, but fog kilometres away at Vancouver's airport complicated the resumption of a search for two snowshoers.

North Shore Rescue spokesman Mike Danks says about 20 team members were set to return to an avalanche-prone area around Mount Strachan north of the Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver, but rescue helicopters were grounded by fog at the airport.

When the helicopters arrive, Danks says they will airlift teams to several areas where it's hoped 43-year-old Roy Lee and 64-year-old Chun Lam may have taken shelter.

One of the helicopters is equipped with a camera capable of detecting body heat.

Danks says that will be used to scour slopes that might be unstable due to the heavy snow that has fallen since Lee and Lam went missing on Christmas Day.

He says rescuers remain optimistic, although he also says a decision about whether to switch from rescue to recovery mode may be necessary soon.

"I think today is really the day that, if we don't see any sign when we are able to access a majority of the terrain, I think we are going to have to start looking at that," he says.

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