This view of the search area and the following comment was posted Sunday night, Jan.6, by Shuswap Search and Rescue on the organization’s Facebook page. “Not much of a view up there this morning but, thankfully, conditions improved!! We are grateful to have everyone home safe tonight.”

Man spends cold night in Shuswap’s Blue Lake snowmobile area

RCMP, Shuswap Search and Rescue, Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club find missing Albertan east of Sicamous

One sledder spent a chilly weekend night after getting stuck in a ravine in the Blue Lake snowmobile area east of Malakwa.

Shuswap Search and Rescue was called out to help locate four young sledders from Alberta at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5.

The missing men had been sledding around Blue Lake and were to meet back at the cabin around 4 p.m., says Shuswap Search and Rescue search manager John Schut.

While two men made it back to the cabin, two were missing. A call went out to the RCMP at 7 p.m. and a search was soon underway.

Related: Kelowna man rescued from Blue Lake snowmobile area

A level 2 avalanche technician from Revelstoke was called in and 15 Shuswap SAR members with 14 members of the Eagle Valley snowmobile club were assembled in teams and sent out to search various areas around the Blue Lake cabin.

The two subjects in the cabin had FRS (Family Radio Service) or “walkie-talkie” radios and were able to connect with one of the missing men who was found down a steep ravine about three kilometres north of the cabin.

“Two teams went in to rescue him,” says Schut. “A number of the team members had to leave their snowmobiles and proceed on snowshoes as the terrain was too steep.”

The first missing individual was located at 1:15 in the morning and taken back to the cabin by 2:30 a.m.

The second missing man was without communication and was even farther down the ravine.

Related: Winter rescues require special training

“The search was called off for the night while members caught a few hours of sleep,” says Schut, noting the search resumed the next morning with the aid of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter. “Weather was again a problem; it was snowing and the poor visibility necessitated the helicopter to be grounded for a few hours.”

Back at the ravine, search teams approached from above and below the missing man – from above on snowmobile and snowshoe and from below via a logging road.

“The subject’s snowmobile and the remnants of an overnight stay were found, but unfortunately the subject had started off on foot and was nowhere to be found,” Schut says. “He was later spotted by helicopter at mid-morning on Jan. 6 and brought back to safety.”

Search and Rescue members did not get back to Salmon Arm until 6 p.m. Sunday, many of them operating on little or no sleep.

As he does every year, Schut provided a list of items sledders must have with them when they head out into the backcountry: An FRS and a Spot or InReach personal satellite communicator, along with avalanche tools, extra food and the gear needed to be out overnight, including the ability to make a fire.

“The fellow who stayed overnight was able to build a fire but lacked communication,” he said, advising people who become lost to stay with their machines. “It make it more difficult to find them when they wander away.”


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Caribou Rainforest book tour arrives in Revelstoke

The book is being released just when caribou have become extinct in the contiguous United States.

Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance accepting applications for art grants

Artists in all disciplines—as well as arts and culture organizations—are invited to… Continue reading

Soon-to-be-extinct caribou moved north of Revelstoke

The three caribou are currently being held in maternal pens on the westside of Lake Revelstoke

Syrian family soon to arrive in Revelstoke

Revelstoke for Refuges held an information session at the library on the soon-to-be Revelstokians

Revelstoke resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read