Revelstoke Search & Rescue used a helicopter and long line to pluck a local man from the base of a cliff on Mount Mackenzie’s treacherous northern face after he sustained bad injuries in a fall down the cliff.
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Initial reports say the 21-year-old fell about 100 metres down a cliff in an out of bounds area on the north side of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. He was able to use his cell phone to call for help at about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The incident triggered a rescue effort that lasted for several hours and involved Revelstoke Search & Rescue, Revelstoke Mountain Resort patrol, the B.C. Ambulance Service and Revelstoke RCMP.
After locating the man, rescuers called for the BC Ambulance Service’s Kamloops-based critical care helicopter, which landed next to waiting police and rescuers in a staging ground in the Greeley area.
The critical care ambulance is usually only called for very serious injuries requiring direct transfer to a trauma centre.
Revelstoke Search & Rescue then used a helicopter and rope to lower a rescuer into the scene and package the injured man into a stretcher.
With the rescuer and the injured man hanging from the rope below the helicopter, they lifted him to the landing pad in Greeley, where land and helicopter ambulance paramedics were waiting to treat him.
The man was then flown to Kamloops with what Revelstoke RCMP described as “non-life threatening injuries.”
Initial reports indicate the man was snowboarding on the northern face of Mt. Mackenzie, in an area outside the Revelstoke Mountain Resort boundary. That part of the mountain is characterized by sheer cliffs and unskiable terrain that starts not far from the boundary rope.
Authorities asked skiers and snowboarders to take care: “Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Revelstoke RCMP would like to remind skiers and snowboarders that signs are clearly marked identifying out of bounds areas on this ski hill and ignoring these signs can lead to injury or death,” said Cpl. Thomas Blakney in a statement.
Signage in the area indicates the deadly terrain below.