The North Shore Rescue team have rescued a "really hungry" snowboarder who spent a cold and wet night on Mount Seymour Tuesday night.
"I didn't really think I'd be standing here right now," said an ecstatic Gursharanjit Singh, 26, after rescuers airlifted him off the mountain Wednesday morning. "I feel like I have a second chance."
Singh's socks were wet and he had an injured hand, but was otherwise unharmed from the night on the mountain.
"I'm still probably going to get yelled at by my parents when I get back home," said the resident of Kent, Wash. near Seattle.
Singh was snowboarding with his brother yesterday when he says he got lost and ended up in an "ice lake" up to his waist.
His mistake, he said, was to keep moving when rescuers could have found him faster if he stayed put. He also didn't think to use the whistle strapped to his backpack, he said.
"I'm definitely not doing that again ... if you do get stuck, don't move."
Search teams located Singh at about 3:15 a.m. Wednesday, and five rescuers stayed with him all night.
Although cold, the young man was safe and in good health.
"He was cold, tired and hungry but he was ecstatic to see us. He's very happy," said search manager Don Jardine.
"His family is very thankful, because they were quite concerned about him."
'If he had just turned around...'
North Shore Rescue was called around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, after Singh failed to meet up with his younger brother at their agreed time at the Mount Seymour resort.
It's not clear how Singh ended up out of bounds. According to the resort, he snowboarded onto a snowshoe trail with a well-marked entrance.
Singh said he didn't do it on purpose, but got "legitimately lost."
Although Singh was dressed appropriately for the conditions, Jardine says the entire search could have been much shorter than it was.
"We're a bit concerned, because at one point he did fall into the creek … He got fully immersed, left his snowboard and then continued on," said Jardine.
"If he had just turned around and looked at his tracks and decided to follow them, it would've taken him back to the place where he started, which was the parking lot."
Singh called his rescuers "awesome."
With files from Christer Waara