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Lost skier, snowboarder rescued from Cypress Mountain

Snowboarders ride a chairlift at Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, B.C., on December 18, 2013.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
March 22, 2021 - 9:46 AM

VANCOUVER - A lost skier and snowboarder are safe and sound after North Shore Rescue says it hoisted them from a gully in the Cypress Mountain area.

The group says crews used a helicopter equipped with a hoist to rescue the two men.

North Shore Rescue says the hoist was performed in "challenging weather conditions just before darkness."

The crews had initially hoped to do a long-line rescue, but the group says the weather made that impossible.

Team leader Mike Danks said earlier that the two men were in Tony Baker Gully on Mount Strachan and appeared to be in good shape, as they were moving around.

A girlfriend of one of the two men reported them missing at 10 p.m. Saturday and searchers were initially unable to make contact with either of their phones.

Danks says there was little information to go on and avalanche conditions were poor Saturday night, so crews weren't sent out until first light on Sunday morning.

He says at 7 a.m., they finally received a ping off the men's phones that placed them on an eastern aspect of Mount Strachan, one of the mountains that make up the resort.

Danks says a helicopter searched the Australian Gully and Tony Baker Gully for two hours earlier Sunday without success, but field teams found a track showing someone entered the gully system and did not come out.

He says rescue crews have been working with avalanche forecasters on the search.

"They're in avalanche terrain. The conditions are not supportive of putting our personnel into those areas," Danks says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2021.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021
The Canadian Press

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