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Family of skiers safe after going out of bounds at Sun Peaks Resort

Kamloops Search and Rescue led a search for the family and had advised them they may have to stay on the mountain overnight due to avalanche risk and loss of daylight.

Parents and children deliberately ducked under boundary ropes, says Tourism Sun Peaks president

Sun Peaks Resort is located 50 kilometres northeast of Kamloops, B.C. (Janet Hopkins/Wikimedia Commons)

A family of six skiers that went out of bounds at Sun Peaks Resort on B.C. Family Day is now safe, says Tourism Sun Peaks president Christopher Nicolson.

Nicolson said the mother, father and four children aged between six and 13 years old had deliberately ducked under boundary ropes at the popular ski resort on Monday afternoon.

Kamloops Search and Rescue had lead a search for the family and advised the group they may have to stay on the mountain overnight due to avalanche risk and loss of daylight.

However, Nicolson says, the family is now back in the village and has been warned about the dangers of going out of bounds again.

"Ski resorts spend a lot of time and a lot of money making sure the resort areas are safe," said Nicolson. 

"As soon as you go outside of the boundary, Mother Nature has a lot of surprises for us and there's a lot of hazards that are out there that a lot of people are not prepared for, especially if you're ducking ropes."

Backcountry travel in B.C. is a marvellous activity, says Nicolson, but it takes education, equipment and a lot of knowledge about which hazards to look for and how to avoid them.

"People who are at ski resorts, ducking the ropes, typically, those people are not prepared. I don't think [this family] was ready for backcountry travel." 

Speaking earlier on Monday, Alan Hobler with Kamloops Search and Rescue said the family wandered down an uncontrolled avalanche slope. They had a phone and were in communication, in good condition and high spirits, he said.

Now back in the village, Nicolson said the family was having dinner and the children seemed unaffected by their experience.

"The kids are all fine. They were having a snowball fight in the parking lot when I saw them," he said.

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