Comox Valley Search and Rescue rescued a missing snowboarder from Mt. Washington on Dec. 31. File photo supplied

Comox Valley Search and Rescue rescued a missing snowboarder from Mt. Washington on Dec. 31. File photo supplied

Comox Valley Search and Rescue finds missing snowboarder

Mt. Washington man had been caught in avalanche in ‘challenging terrain’

A snowboarder suffered frostbite but could have faced a worse fate after getting stuck in avalanche conditions on Mount Washington Wednesday.

The 19-year-old man, who lives at Mount Washington, was last seen mid-afternoon on Dec. 30 and reported missing that evening after having gone out to snowboard.

READ MORE: Christmas at Mount Washington

The ski patrol searched an area in bounds at the mountain first but could not find any trace of a track heading out of bounds, though searchers believed he had left designated skiing and boarding areas.

“We believed he had gone out of bounds,” said Comox Valley Search and Rescue (CVSAR) president Paul Berry.

Unfortunately, due to the high winds and potential avalanche conditions, CVSAR could not conduct a search in the evening and had to wait until the morning of Dec. 31.

“We were unable to send teams out,” he said.

At first light on New Year’s Eve, search teams went out, while Mount Washington staff and an RCMP helicopter assisted. The helicopter spotted the man from above at about 9:30 a.m. He had been in the Buck’s Run area off the backside of the mountain and found in challenging terrain with a high avalanche risk.

“He had been caught in an avalanche and lost all his equipment,” Berry said. “He ended up losing his helmet, his gloves, all the equipment he might have had with him.”

The man suffered some “considerable frostbite” in his fingers and toes, according to Berry. “He’s going to have some medical challenges for a little bit.”

The previous day, CVSAR had posted on its Facebook page about the current dangers of avalanches in backcountry areas of mountain regions right now.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Mount WashingtonSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read