Skier rescued from an avalanche near Apex Mountain

Skier airlifted out of the backcountry after being buried in avalanche

A group of skiers managed to rescue a companion buried an avalanche while backcountry skiing near Apex Mountain Sunday.

With the help of Penticton Search and Rescue and the Apex ski patrol, the injured skier was airlifted to safety.

PENSAR reports they were contacted by the Emergency Co-ordination Centre around 2:30 p.m. on March 4, with a report that a 35-year-old man had been buried in an avalanche east of Apex Mountain Ski Resort.

The group of four backcountry skiers reported that they had successfully rescued their partner after he had been buried by a rank 2.5 avalanche. The ski group had a SPOT emergency beacon and good cell service and were able to alert emergency personnel and maintain good communication while the rescue efforts were being coordinated. This allowed emergency personnel to assess key information on location and status of the injured skier who had survived the avalanche burial.

With daylight hours diminishing a small rescue team from Apex ski patrol was airlifted into the area, where they were able to ski in and locate the group and bring out the injured subject via helicopter. He was subsequently transferred to an awaiting ambulance at the resort. The subject injuries are not known but are not considered life-threatening.

Dale Jorgensen, the SAR manager who co-ordinated the response, said 14 PENSAR members were activated, and Osoyoos and Oliver Search and Rescue, as well as the Princeton team, were placed on standby.

Jorgensen said the situation, a high-risk scenario where avalanche risk is extremely high, trained avalanche response personnel were needed to assess and enter the area.

Though the event was outside of the Apex Ski Resort, Jorgensen said PENSAR co-ordinated the emergency response with Apex ski resort personnel along with a Ministry of Transportation avalanche technician who was also on site to assist in the evacuation.

SAR Teams advised that avalanche risks in the backcountry are high and that travellers need to be prepared and plan for any emergency. This was one of three rescue calls in the Okanagan Sunday, including a snowmobile rider suffering from a heart attack who was rescued by Central Okanagan Search and Rescue.

Related:COSAR rescues heart attack sufferer from snowmobile trip

Just Posted

Stolen Kelowna vehicle located in Penticton, driver facing numerous charges

The accused attempted to flee from police, ramming fences and police vehicles in the process

Rikhi family donates $60,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

Donation made in memory of Raksha Rikhi, a nurse from Summerland

Bobsleigh on display in Summerland

Used sleigh set up in honour of Olympic gold medal athlete Justin Kripps

Okanagan player earns nod as BC Hockey League Player of the Month

James Miller was named BC Hockey League Player of the Month for November.

Summerland utility rates to increase

Water and sewer rates to rise five per cent; electrical increase is two per cent

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Cain Franson of Sicamous a USports All-Star once again

Franson will play against Canadian Junior team prospects in Victoria

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

Royal York Golf Course to close fairways after 2019 season

N&T Properties, an Okanagan-based company, has purchased the space.

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

Most Read