Revelstoke Search and Rescue responded to four incidents last week, two involving snowmobilers, one involving a skier and the other a false call.
The first call came when a skier from California was reported missing on Sunday, Jan. 15. He followed another group of skiers out of bounds from top of the gondola and, rather than following them, ended up above the box canyon of the Illecillewaet River, said Search and Rescue manager Buck Corrigan.
The skier spent the night outside and was rescued by helicopter the next morning. “He spent quite a few hours warming up,” said Corrigan.
SAR got called for two rescues on Thursday, Jan. 19. The first involved a group of four snowmobilers from Saskatchewan who got lost on Boulder Mountain.
Eight SAR members mounted a search and looked for them until midnight but were unable to find them.
Corrigan said the men weren’t far from the Boulder Mountain cabin and were able to see the lights of the search party but they were stuck in some steep terrain and weren’t able to make it out at the time.
The next morning SAR returned and led the men back to the cabin, where they warmed up.
Corrigan expressed frustration at the fact the men turned off their cell phones after calling for help. “We couldn’t get a hold of them to find out what was going on,” he said.
He advised that people heading out make sure their cell phones have enough battery power to call for help in case of emergency.
That same day, SAR got called out to a report of a flair in the Albert Canyon area. SAR and the RCMP went to the area to look around but they did not see anything. They also talked to residents in the area and CP Rail but they hadn’t seen anything either.
The next day SAR returned in a helicopter and did another search of the area but found no cars or signs of people.
“That was a total wild goose chase,” said Corrigan.
On Sunday, Jan. 22, SAR was called out after a spot beacon was triggered by two snowmobilers from Calgary stuck in deep snow in the Eagle Pass area.
Eagle Pass Heliskiing was contacted to see if they could mount a rescue and they said they would go look at the end of the day. Just as SAR was preparing to respond from Revelstoke in another helicopter, EPH made it to the scene and rescued the two men.
Corrigan said the men had dug a hole and were preparing to start a fire for a night outside when they were rescued.