Julie Abrahamsen, missing snowboarder, found near Whistler Blackcomb
Searchers spotted her footprints in the snow from a helicopter
Missing snowboarder Julie Abrahamsen has been found alive three days after she was last seen on Blackcomb Mountain near Whistler, B.C.
Search and Rescue found the 21-year-old woman on Saturday more than five kilometres from the ski boundary of Whistler Blackcomb.
A helicopter spotted her tracks in the snow, followed them from the air, and found her in extremely rugged terrain at an elevation of 1,600 metres near Upper Wedge Creek.
"These moments are big for us because we don't get enough of them quite simply," he said.
"To find someone with a strong spirit who is able to endure the past three nights of weather — that's a big win for all of us.
RCMP will now try to piece together how Abrahamsen ended up so far from the ski boundary.
"It's not an area that would've been accessible by just riding your snowboard out," said Sgt. Rob Knapton.
"There definitely would have been a significant amount of walking involved, but it is in the direction that you could go from Blackcomb when you enter the backcountry," he said.
"Despite the rain, the temperatures have been higher, so it made it a little bit better chance of surviving," Knapton said.
Abrahamsen's roommate reported the 21-year-old missing on Friday. She was last seen on Wednesday Jan. 21 and RCMP were able to confirm she accessed the lifts on Blackcomb's Glacier Express chairlift at 11 a.m.
Her father, Knut Peder Abrahamsen, posted on Facebook from Norway on Saturday that he was relieved she was found.
"I love my three children and grateful and happy to still have all of them," he said.
Abrahamsen is an avid snowboarder and went on many trips with her family and friends.