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

Heavy flows of water pooled on Davis Road after a lead to a fire hydrant burst on Thursday Jan. 21. (Jim Tredwell photo)
Fire hydrant connection burst at Davis Road and Battie Drive

Crews worked well into the night on Thursday Jan. 21 to staunch the flow of water

A pedestrian was transported to hospital after being struck while crossing Roberts Street. (Cole Schisler photo)
Pedestrian struck crossing Roberts Street

The driver remained on scene and is cooperating with police

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Vancouver Island public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Another staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Nanaimo care home

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence employee is isolating, says Island Health

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read