An Alberta snowmobiler escaped unharmed after an avalanche swept him over a cliff in the Monster Bowl area of Boulder Mountain on Feb. 17.
Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said police received several emergency calls just after 1 p.m. on Feb. 17.
The callers said a male sledder had been caught in an avalanche and swept off a cliff.
Revelstoke Search & Rescue were dispatched to the area via helicopter.
Grabinsky said they were able to locate the snowmobiler quickly with the assistance of a SPOT beacon he was using.
The sledder, a 44-year-old Alberta man, was located at the bottom of a 1,000-foot cliff. Police report he was uninjured, although he was transported to hospital for examination.
“Police wish to remind of the importance of back country safety and using available technologies to identify locations using such devices as handheld GPS, cell phones or SPOT devices,” Staff-Sgt. Grabinsky said in a statement. “The sooner a persons location can be determined, the sooner help can be on scene.”
Revelstoke RCMP were not immediately available for comment on Feb. 18. Many details of the incident remain unclear; more information to come when it’s available.
Update, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 4:45 p.m.
Staff-Sgt. Grabinsky has provided additional details on the incident. He said the victim was riding in an area near the Monster Bowl when he dismounted from his snow bike and walked out onto a cornice.
“He was taking a look at the view,” Grabinsky said. “The cornice fell away and he just slid away with it.”
Grabinsky said the man fell down a cliff and a slope, bouncing from “powder pillow to powder pillow” for a considerable distance until he reached the bottom.
Grabinsky said the fall was about 1,000 feet in total – an estimate provided by a helicopter pilot who attended the scene.
“He was very lucky he got to the bottom,” Grabinsky said.
The original media release by the RCMP said he was “swept away” by a “snow slide” but didn’t mention a cornice collapse.