UPDATE: Four Comox Valley skiers surprised by avalanche rescued and recovering

Four skiers caught in an avalanche Tuesday in Strathcona Provincial Park have been rescued and are recovering from the incident.

Four skiers caught in an avalanche Tuesday afternoon in Strathcona Provincial Park — including an 18-year-old who suffered a suspected leg injury — have been rescued and are recovering from the incident.

Members of 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron assisted members of Comox Valley Ground Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) to search for the four stranded Comox Valley men, whose ages range from 18 to 30.

Police confirm the skiers, who were near Moat and Circlet lakes, used a cellphone to call for help around 2:10 p.m. Tuesday.

CVGSAR, based out of Raven Lodge at Mount Washington, reached them around 10 p.m., and stabilized the injured skier, who was in chest-deep snow lying at the base of a 25-foot cliff.

The avalanche was outside Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s boundaries.

Capt. Trevor Reid, public affairs officer for 19 Wing Comox confirmed crews of a Cormorant helicopter and Buffalo Search and Rescue airplane left the base at 11:30 p.m. and arrived in the search area, five kilometres southwest of Mount Washington, near Helen McKenzie Lake, a short time later.

Illuminating the area with high-intensity parachute flares, the Cormorant lowered two search and rescue technicians (SAR Techs) 170 feet to begin the extraction.

“The conditions were very turbulent, and visibility was low,” said Capt. Blair Turner, first officer of the Cormorant. “The winds were approximately 50 km/h, which made the hoists challenging.”

SAR Tech Sgt. Dan Verret noted conditions were very cold on the mountain, and rescuers warmed up water and gave it to the GSAR members and the patient.

“As we worked to put the patient in a litter, we were frequently hit by chunks of snow falling from the trees that had been left by the avalanche’s path,” he added.

The injured skier was flown to CFB Comox, where he was transferred by ambulance in stable condition at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday.

The three other skiers were brought out of the avalanche area by CVGSAR.

photos@comomxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read