Efforts to rescue two snowboarders were underway early Sunday afternoon. The two men were safely returned to Red Mountain hours later. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

ROSSLAND, B.C. — Search and rescue teams had a busy day on Sunday, as they successfully brought home four people who’d been reported lost in the backcountry around Rossland.

Two snowboarders went missing from Red Mountain on Saturday after going out of bounds and were rescued Sunday afternoon.

“We have a team in there right now. We sent a helicopter to a remote location. We brought some snowshoes into our team members for the subjects and they are going to walk out to a location where the helicopter can pick them up,” Gord Ihlen, operations manager for Castlegar Search and Rescue (CSAR), explained just before 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“That’s what we’re doing right now. Hopefully, the weather stays good for a little bit here and the helicopter will be able to pick up our two subjects and our two team members.”

Search and rescue received the call sometime between 10:30 and 11 p.m., but were already in the midst of an operation in the Paulson Pass.

Between the operation already in progress and the rough terrain surrounding the two lost snowboarders, search and rescue teams decided they would not be able to reach them until the next day.

Luckily the two snowboarders had some supplies and were in good health.

“They’re probably hypothermic at this point, but the last check they were ambulatory, which means they’re able to walk,” said Ihlen.

“The place where they are is the backside of the mountain heading down toward Big Sheep Creek area, so it’s a very nasty area in there,” he added.

Chuck Fuller and Brad White of Rossland Search and Rescue were the two team members responsible for getting the snowboarders to the helicopter.

Fuller explained that they found the two men near Esling Creek.

“They basically went out of bounds on the back of Kirkup, down in Esling Creek and we found them a couple of thousand feet down the creek in a sort of unskiable, thick mess of an area and we found an area close to that … where we were able to get the helicopter nosed in there. We had to do a hover,” he said.

Fuller said it took a two and a half to three hours to locate the lost snowboarders and about another hour over 300 to 400 meters to get them to the chopper.

The helicopter arrived back at Red around 1:35 p.m. and the two men were reunited with their families.

That was less than two hours after local search and rescue teams had recovered two cross-country skiers from the Paulson Pass.

“They went off trail, too, and got into an area that they couldn’t get themselves out of,” said Ihlen. “So we sent a team in there. They were able to locate them; they weren’t able to walk them out.”

He was unsure what physical condition the skiers were in, but said a helicopter with a winch system was brought in to get them out.

Teams from all over the West Kootenay responded to both incidents, including CSAR, Rossland Search and Rescue, Grand Forks Search and Rescue, Kaslo Search and Rescue, Nelson Search and Rescue, South Columbia Search and Rescue and the helicopter winching team from Vernon.

“Looks like a successful day,” said Ihlen. “We’ve got four people that spent the night in the bush, and they’re all coming out and seem to be in good shape.”

Just Posted

Overnight fire at Kimberley Transfer Station

Kimberley Fire Department contains blaze at transfer station; cause unknown at this time

Kimberley Fire Department has lowest operating cost per capita compared to similar communities

FCABC 2016 Comparative Analysis shows annual savings of $335 per person.

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Kimberley Fire Department releases 2017 Community Wildfire Protection Program

The report outlines fire hazard areas and their potential treatments.

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read