2 skiers found safe after cold night near Kamloops ski resort
Two young Vancouver men who went out of bounds and were lost on Tod Mountain near the Sun Peaks ski resort north of Kamloops were rescued Thursday.
Alex Smythe and Harrison Blacklock, both 19, spent a night in -15 C temperatures after they became lost after dark Wednesday. They later said the quest for the perfect powder was not worth it.
"Definitely don't go out of bounds," Blacklock told CBC News. "It's definitely not worth it. It was one of the most scariest experiences of my life."
The pair called for help on a cellphone and rescuers gave them instructions on how to find shelter and survive the night.
Search and rescue crews combed the hills using snowmobiles early Thursday morning and an RCMP helicopter found the two men in the afternoon and then airlifted them to Kamloops Regional Hospital.
"They're very fortunate. It could've turned out worse than it was," said Const. Jane Prince, a spokeswoman for the Kamloops Regional RCMP.
"We found a tree well and got in there out of the wind and put down some branches on the ground to insulate ourselves from the snow and got nice and close and just made sure we stayed active, kept each other awake all night," Smyth said.
The cellphone was a lifeline for the men, but an official at Sun Peaks said people should not count on one to save their lives if they ski out of bounds.
"In the areas you might be skiing in the back country, cellphones definitely don't work there," said Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks.
"Cellphones are not a solution to the message that says, 'Don't go out of bounds.'"