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Snowboarder rescued after avalanche in North Shore mountains

Wednesday, January 27th 2021, 8:57 am - Rescue crews said a snowboarder in the backcountry was caught in a slide late Tuesday afternoon

North Shore Rescue says ground crews have rescued a snowboarder who was caught in an avalanche in the backcountry on Tuesday afternoon in Cypress Provincial Park.

Team leader Mike Danks said rescue crews received a call at about 4:15 p.m. from a friend of the person who needed help.

Danks said the man had been involved in a small avalanche and couldn't get out of the area on his own.

CBC: Emergency crews await snowboarder who was rescued after being partially buried by a small avalanche. (Kevin Li/CBC news) Emergency crews await snowboarder who was rescued after being partially buried by a small avalanche. (Kevin Li/CBC news)

"He was stuck, basically buried up to his waist. So we had crews responding into that area. The conditions are not optimal for sending people in the field, but because of the restriction of daylight for the helicopter, were not able to get crews into that area."

By 10 p.m. the man had been transported to Cypress Resort and was to be taken to hospital.

Danks said the man was confused and hypothermic, and may have suffered a pelvis fracture and injury to his shoulder.

SEE ALSO: Multiple skaters fall through ice in Banff

COMPLEX RESCUE

Ground teams were led by an avalanche forecaster and professional ski guide.

The rescue was complex and involved two avalanche professionals, a doctor, an emergency nurse, a paramedic, and multiple rope rescue technicians, according to a Facebook post from North Shore Rescue.

Talon Helicopters were eventually deployed along with North Shore Rescue's air operations team, and Cypress ski patrol, who also performed a rope rescue.

North Shore Rescue warns that avalanche conditions are considerable, and are a danger to the lives of rescue crews as well as those they help.

Danks said this snowboarder was "very lucky" given the circumstances.

"He was out of bounds, caught in an avalanche. No avalanche safety equipment with them, no one else with them, either. So those are really big risks to take in conditions like this."

He advises people to call 911, not friends, if they are caught in an avalanche so it's easier for crews to find them.

This article, written by Meera Bains, was originally published for CBC News.

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