Dramatic Rescue in the Backcountry Near Shames Mountain

John Crawford

A man is recovering in Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace, after a dramatic rescue from the backcountry near Shames Mountain last night.

[FILE PHOTO:   Shames Mountain backcountry ]

Search-and-Rescue spokesperson Dave Jephson says the man was out skiing with a friend yesterday, when he became trapped -- upside down -- for about two-and-a-half hours in a tree-well, before his buddy finally located him.

"His partner was able to dig him out, make the assessment, the subject was semi-conscious, definitely hypothermic -- he was able to initiate crews from Search-and-Rescue to start to respond and was successfully able to start a fire to rewarm the subject.

The friend was also able radio for help -- and that initiated a very dangerous rescue operation. 

"So a team was put together that was going to head into the backcountry -- they needed to ski down to the valley bottom and then back up the other side so we're talking going down approximately 600 metres and then now having to ski up another 800 metres in the pitch black with fresh powder snow," Jephson explained.

Jephson says the risk level was extreme but after an assessement from avalanche technicians and with some help from Shames Mountain staff, the team was able to carry out the rescue.

The man is said to be in fair condition.

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