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 British Columbia - Mainland
 Lost Cypress snowboarder found alive
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Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  9:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
Congrats on another successful search NSR. I know the guy isn't out of the woods yet but I assume it will now be possible to get him some warmth and plan an exit.
http://www.news1130.com/2012/12/18/missing-snowboarder-spotted-alive/

I've been following this story and as the hours turned to days the possibility of a positive outcome seemed less likely.

When I see these types of searches (when there is a large area to canvas and when time is critical,) I wish there was a way for people with their own equipment and basic training in avalanche safety, mountaineering and first-aid to help with more feet on the ground. I've heard the reasons why that is not done but I've got to think that there would be a way to use a search "reserve force" if it existed for some types of searches. Even it's just to help patrol some of the easy terrain on the boundaries to help narrow down the search area.


Edited by - Steventy on 12/19/2012 12:30 AM

Rachelo
Advanced Member


Calgary, Alberta
Andorra

4155 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
usually if they need more bodies, they call in a literal 'reserve force' - from other SAR units.
Good news.

Edited by - Rachelo on 12/18/2012 10:11 PM
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Kid Charlemagne
Senior Member



1366 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Steventy, 'mutual aid' from other SAR teams was requested for this search. Generally speaking, SAR usually has adequate resources for searches, keeping in mind that the searchers need to be trained and manageable as per the risks presented by the search. If the person was missing in a cornfield in the Fraser Valley, it might be appropriate to use 'civilian' volunteer searchers, but that certainly isn't the case in the North Shore mountains right now.

RichMac
Starting Member


Vancouver
25 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Province article mentions that they have to wait 3 hours for a helicopter from Comox. http://bit.ly/T69uG5

Could anyone shed some light on this? Why don't they have a helicopter available in the lower mainland? Purely cost?

Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichMac

The Province article mentions that they have to wait 3 hours for a helicopter from Comox. http://bit.ly/T69uG5

Could anyone shed some light on this? Why don't they have a helicopter available in the lower mainland? Purely cost?



My guess is they needed the CH-149 Cormorant to perform a long-line rescue in the current weather.
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Kid Charlemagne
Senior Member



1366 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  10:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichMac

The Province article mentions that they have to wait 3 hours for a helicopter from Comox. http://bit.ly/T69uG5

Could anyone shed some light on this? Why don't they have a helicopter available in the lower mainland? Purely cost?



None of the helicopters used by SAR teams in the Lower Mainland fly after dark, or in very inclement weather. That's what the heavy guns out of Comox are for.

RichMac
Starting Member


Vancouver
25 Posts

 Posted - 12/18/2012 :  11:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wish I could stop reading the facebook comments on this.

quote:
Honestly, I hoped they wouldnt find him alive. Would have served as a lesson to others that if you choose to take the risk, you better be ready for the possible outcome. I am sick to death of paying for these yahoos to get picked up after being stupid. Let Darwin take hold and weed these ones out. This coming from someone who loves high risk sports, but sure as hell dont expect anyone to pick up the tab if I dont prepare. Hopefully he lost a toe or two


5 Hours ago, 3 likes.

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Ryan.in.yaletown
Advanced Member


Van, BC
Canada

3112 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  12:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kid Charlemagne

quote:
Originally posted by RichMac

The Province article mentions that they have to wait 3 hours for a helicopter from Comox. http://bit.ly/T69uG5

Could anyone shed some light on this? Why don't they have a helicopter available in the lower mainland? Purely cost?



None of the helicopters used by SAR teams in the Lower Mainland fly after dark, or in very inclement weather. That's what the heavy guns out of Comox are for.



^^ What he said.

Good coverage:
http://www.globaltvbc.com/video/north+shore+snowboarder+rescued/video.html?v=2318338650#stories
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/rescued-snowboarder-not-hypothermic-crews-say-1.1084732

-Ryan

Edited by - Ryan.in.yaletown on 12/19/2012 12:47 AM

Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  12:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kid Charlemagne

Steventy, 'mutual aid' from other SAR teams was requested for this search. Generally speaking, SAR usually has adequate resources for searches, keeping in mind that the searchers need to be trained and manageable as per the risks presented by the search. If the person was missing in a cornfield in the Fraser Valley, it might be appropriate to use 'civilian' volunteer searchers, but that certainly isn't the case in the North Shore mountains right now.



Thanks for the info.

I understand the general reasoning. At the same time, it's not quite that black and white. There are some very skilled mountaineers (some that may even have previous SAR experience,) in the local area that can't join a team because they aren't able to make the year-round time commitment due to work or family obligations. In the event of a search that requires extra manpower, leveraging teams from other areas is good but they are small and they have their own searches to work on (Squamish has been busy with another search over the past week.) It seems feasible that there may be advantages to having a local back-up crew that would fund their own way (pay for their own equipment and training,) and would be required to have completed the GSAR course from the justice institute, AST-1, and Wilderness First Aid. They'd be available for searches where time is critical and where at least some of the search area is not highly technical. In a search like this one, you could have even set up a few of these teams to camp in non-avalanche terrain around the boundary and below the snow line in case the subject walked into their vicinity or in case verbal contact could be established in the silence of the night.

Obviously the SAR system is working pretty well today. It's miraculous how many searches are successful and how few searchers are injured or lost in the process; especially considering the small amount of funding that is made available. That doesn't mean we can't brainstorm about ways it could be even better in the future.



On a related note:
This fellow sounds like he probably has a bit of money in the bank. Hopefully he makes a generous donation for Christmas.
"Boucher is a director of finance with the National Bank of Canada, CBC News has confirmed. He works in both the Ottawa and Vancouver offices of the bank, but currently resides in West Vancouver."

Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  12:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RichMac

I wish I could stop reading the facebook comments on this.

quote:
Honestly, I hoped they wouldnt find him alive. Would have served as a lesson to others that if you choose to take the risk, you better be ready for the possible outcome. I am sick to death of paying for these yahoos to get picked up after being stupid. Let Darwin take hold and weed these ones out. This coming from someone who loves high risk sports, but sure as hell dont expect anyone to pick up the tab if I dont prepare. Hopefully he lost a toe or two


5 Hours ago, 3 likes.





Most people seem to grossly underestimate how much of their tax dollars go towards healthcare for drunk drivers, the obese, and smokers and grossly overestimate how much of their tax dollars go to SAR operations.

Urban trekker
Junior Member


Vancouver, BC
Canada

109 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  08:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Most people seem to grossly underestimate how much of their tax dollars go towards healthcare for drunk drivers, the obese, and smokers and grossly overestimate how much of their tax dollars go to SAR operations.


My thoughts exactly.

mick range
Extreme Hoser

Trail running, bike hucking, fast packing, beer drinking collector of pine cones on a day pass

AKA

Dances with Trees

Forest Gnome Cabin
Canada

13585 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  11:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it's long overdue that more skiers and boarders learn mountaineering skills. I used to carry crampons and an axe when I skied, and my buddies used to laugh at me for that. Thing was, I had hiked and spent a lot of time in the hills before I skied, so it seemed normal to me. If you're heading out of bounds, a bivy shelter and a small stove are good ideas too. Why not?

Trail Talk
Junior Member


Edmonton, Alberta
Canada

155 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  2:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wish as much discussion on prevention occurs as does the SAR chat which is, after all, only necessary once the sh*t hits the fan. SAR is the darling topic nowadays, like police SWAT, but it detracts from the desired outcome to keep bad things from happening in the first place.

Edited by - Trail Talk on 12/19/2012 3:00 PM

trick
Junior Member



352 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  3:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Indeed. At the risk of jumping to conclusions, this guy didn't seem to have the slightest clue what he was up to. Being an idiot shouldn't be a death sentence, but a reprimand and maybe a little public shaming isn't a bad thing. This guy should really not have been back there by himself. He wasn't at all prepared for backcountry travel. By the sounds of the CTV News article though, the SAR people let him know that.

sgRant
Advanced Member


Vancouver
2588 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  4:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd like to hear from "the subject" how he got from the top of Strachan to 400m elevation in Disbrow Creek. This requires passing the western verge of the downhill area and/or the (marked) Howe Sound Crest trail, plus crossing the south fork of Montizambert Creek.

I also wonder if he had a cellphone with gps capability. A lot of 'splainin to do.
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Aqua Terra
Advanced Member

canine loving, machete-toting bushwhacking lake seeker, Indiana Jones hat-wearing off-road 4x4 guru

Mission, BC
Canada

7821 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  5:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
according to some sources that chopper is around 30,000$ per hour to operate, on an annual average.

Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  6:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now Cypress is going to bill the snowboarder $10,000 and donate the money to NSR.
http://www.cknw.com/news/vancouver/story.aspx?ID=1846421

It's an interesting tactic since I've heard that most SAR teams are not supportive of fines because they result in families being hesitant to report missing people. The delay results in worse outcomes for the subjects and more danger to the searchers.

Prevention is tricky for this type of a search since it only takes a tiny amount of common sense to not get into that situation. One of the comments on a news story said that the subject had learned that a friend had passed away just before the subject headed out snowboarding. I don't know if that's true but perhaps his mind just wasn't in a logical place. We've all done stupid things on bad days.

Here is one thought on prevention. On other areas of the mountain, Cypress has no enforcement against people that duck ropes. It's to the point where the ropes could almost be interpreted as "run hasn't been groomed but feel free to ski it." Perhaps people who aren't familiar with previous tragedies are also assuming that the out-of-bounds ropes up by the Sky Chair aren't that serious.

Edited by - Steventy on 12/19/2012 6:11 PM

swebster
Senior Member


New Westminster, BC
Canada

1375 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  6:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So we shouldn't be allowed to recreate outside the ropes in our Provincial Park?

KARVITK
Advanced Member

Happy go lucky, plaid wearin, postholin, safeway gaitor sportin, old-school film shootin, giver of many regards

Abbotsford, B.C.
Canada

15033 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  6:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand from what I heard, he did a number of stupid things, ...

including not staying put after he got lost, so it made it much harder to find him.

This penalty will sting, just the publicity of this should make others think more about consequences before going out of bouonds.

Apparently he promised his mother he would not go out of bounds the day he did.

K
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Kid Charlemagne
Senior Member



1366 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  6:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steventy



Prevention is tricky for this type of a search since it only takes a tiny amount of common sense to not get into that situation. One of the comments on a news story said that the subject had learned that a friend had passed away just before the subject headed out snowboarding. I don't know if that's true but perhaps his mind just wasn't in a logical place. We've all done stupid things on bad days.





Good god, how is that relevant? It's not like we're dissecting a mass-murder here. Public scrutiny knows no limits. Did we look at the income level and psychological disposition of the owners of that stupid dog? Should we lock ourselves in a padded room if our day isn't going just swimmingly? Can you show me a study that proves more accidents or bad decisions happen when you're having a bad day versus a good day? This is just poor taste.

Steventy
Advanced Member



2061 Posts

 Posted - 12/19/2012 :  6:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by swebster

So we shouldn't be allowed to recreate outside the ropes in our Provincial Park?



Do you think that it is fair for the resort to say:
"If you are going to use our lifts, you can only leave the ski area through specific gates and if you have avalanche and backcountry travel equipment"?
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