Efforts to rescue two snowboarders were underway early Sunday afternoon. The two men were safely returned to Red Mountain hours later. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

ROSSLAND, B.C. — Search and rescue teams had a busy day on Sunday, as they successfully brought home four people who’d been reported lost in the backcountry around Rossland.

Two snowboarders went missing from Red Mountain on Saturday after going out of bounds and were rescued Sunday afternoon.

“We have a team in there right now. We sent a helicopter to a remote location. We brought some snowshoes into our team members for the subjects and they are going to walk out to a location where the helicopter can pick them up,” Gord Ihlen, operations manager for Castlegar Search and Rescue (CSAR), explained just before 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. Hopefully, the weather stays good for a little bit here and the helicopter will be able to pick up our two subjects and our two team members.”

Search and rescue received the call sometime between 10:30 and 11 p.m., but were already in the midst of an operation in the Paulson Pass.

Between the operation already in progress and the rough terrain surrounding the two lost snowboarders, search and rescue teams decided they would not be able to reach them until the next day.

Luckily the two snowboarders had some supplies and were in good health.

“They’re probably hypothermic at this point, but the last check they were ambulatory, which means they’re able to walk,” said Ihlen.

“The place where they are is the backside of the mountain heading down toward Big Sheep Creek area, so it’s a very nasty area in there,” he added.

Chuck Fuller and Brad White of Rossland Search and Rescue were the two team members responsible for getting the snowboarders to the helicopter.

Fuller explained that they found the two men near Esling Creek.

“They basically went out of bounds on the back of Kirkup, down in Esling Creek and we found them a couple of thousand feet down the creek in a sort of unskiable, thick mess of an area and we found an area close to that … where we were able to get the helicopter nosed in there. We had to do a hover,” he said.

Fuller said it took a two and a half to three hours to locate the lost snowboarders and about another hour over 300 to 400 meters to get them to the chopper.

The helicopter arrived back at Red around 1:35 p.m. and the two men were reunited with their families.

That was less than two hours after local search and rescue teams had recovered two cross-country skiers from the Paulson Pass.

“They went off trail, too, and got into an area that they couldn’t get themselves out of,” said Ihlen. “So we sent a team in there. They were able to locate them; they weren’t able to walk them out.”

He was unsure what physical condition the skiers were in, but said a helicopter with a winch system was brought in to get them out.

Teams from all over the West Kootenay responded to both incidents, including CSAR, Rossland Search and Rescue, Grand Forks Search and Rescue, Kaslo Search and Rescue, Nelson Search and Rescue, South Columbia Search and Rescue and the helicopter winching team from Vernon.

“Looks like a successful day,” said Ihlen. “We’ve got four people that spent the night in the bush, and they’re all coming out and seem to be in good shape.”

Just Posted

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Saanich taking heat over process surrounding Haro Woods

District delays decision on the future of cycling in popular Saanich park

UPDATE: VicPD defend decision not to warn public after initial attack

String of assaults downtown Wednesday night left several people with serious injuries

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

UPDATE: Blood found in missing man’s vehicle

Searchers are sticking to a high-priority area before expanding their search for Ben Kilmer

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Royal Oak loses Canada Post outlet

Potal outlet in Country Grocer closed after nearly two decades, service handled by other locations

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

LETTER: Dog poop on school grounds has Cordova Bay Grade 3s looking for answers

We are Grade 3 students at Cordova Bay School. We have noticed… Continue reading

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Most Read