Two skiers were caught in an avalanche at Mt. Fernie on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Fernie Search and Rescue

Skier injured in avalanche; snowmobiler stranded near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue performs two backcountry rescues in 24 hours

A skier has been injured in a backcountry avalanche in Fernie, while a snowmobiler has spent the night in sub zero temperatures after his sled broke down.

Fernie Search and Rescue has had a busy 24 hours after receiving two requests for assistance on Sunday amid considerable avalanche risk in the Lizard Range and Flathead area.

The first involved a skier injured in an avalanche at Mt. Fernie.

The man was among a group of five people skiing when a slide was triggered above them.

According to SAR, two skiers were caught in the slide, however, only one was able to extricate.

The missing skier was found at the toe of the slide (the tip on the avalanche debris) just above Fairy Creek about 15 minutes later.

At 11:40 a.m., SAR was tasked to rescue the injured skier, who was reporting pelvic pain and possible lower back issues.

Three SAR technicians flew to the area via helicopter and performed a long line rescue before handing the man over to BC Ambulance Service.

At 7:40 p.m., SAR received another request for help from a snowmobiler whose sled had broken down in the Harvey Pass area southeast of Fernie.

However, SAR determined it was too dangerous to go out due to avalanche conditions and nightfall.

The man was forced to spend the night in the backcountry as temperatures plunged to -26C but was reportedly well equipped.

Two SAR technicians flew to the area at first light to pick up the snowmobiler, who was cold but in good shape.

He was also handed over to BC Ambulance Service.

 

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