Search and rescue crews extricated a trapped snowboarder in Cypress Mountain’s avalanche territory Tuesday night. Now they’re issuing a public warning.
“Stop ducking the ropes on the Sky Chair on Cypress,” a post on North Shore Rescue’s Facebook urged the public Wednesday (Feb. 3).
“This is our second rescue in less than two weeks in this area. The last rescue the subject was badly injured and had life-altering injuries,” the statement continued.
“If you duck ropes you are going into uncontrolled avalanche terrain. Beyond the ropes there are cliffs, gullies, tree wells, terrain traps that can injure or kill you.”
The rescue organization said January has been its busiest to date, with teams having responded to 15 calls for help. One of them ended with the death of 22-year-old Instagram influencer, Nikki Donnelly.
The Ontario resident was snowshoeing in the Cypress Mountain backcountry before she went missing.
Another, on Tuesday (Jan. 19), saw the North Shore rescue team extract a Vancouver couple who slipped on a portion of Tim Jones Peak on their way up Mount Seymour.
Currently, the South Coast is under a special public avalanche warning. Avalanche Canada recently expanded that warning to include Vancouver Island.
SAR officials are asking those planning backcountry trips to be equipped with an avalanche course, appropriate equipment and a trained partner.
“Hopefully folks reading this will share this information with their friends, partners, sons, daughters and parents so that next time someone gets to the top of Sky Chair and thinks, ‘hey let’s duck the ropes to get some powder,’ they will think twice,” detailed the appeal.
Some more photos of last night task.
Some lessons learned:
– Never duck the ropes at a ski resort – they are there…