British Columbia

North Shore Rescue airlifts skier, snowboarder from Cypress backcountry

A skier and snowboarder who have been missing since Saturday from the Cypress Mountain ski area have been airlifted out of a gully by a North Shore Rescue crew.

Men were located Sunday afternoon in a gully, where they'd been most of the day

Search teams were deployed Sunday morning to search for two men who went missing Saturday night. (North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

A skier and snowboarder who went missing from the Cypress Mountain ski area Saturday have been located and airlifted to safety, according to North Shore Rescue.

Search manager Peter Haigh said the pair are in good shape, but very hungry. 

"They were pretty shaken," Haigh said. 

"The thought of spending another night did not appeal at all."

Haigh said a helicopter crew spotted the pair Sunday afternoon in the Tony Baker Gully. The pair had been in the area all day.

"They've been trying to look around and get out of there all day, but they basically hadn't moved," Haigh said.

When the two men were initially located, crews assessed whether they could be long-lined out, but fog and snow made that difficult.

Poor weather and dangerous avalanche conditions have made for a difficult rescue of a skier and a snowboarder who went missing Saturday night. (North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

Haigh said avalanche conditions persisted, meaning ground crews couldn't go in. 

At about 4:15 p.m. Sunday, NSR brought in a helicopter with a winch, which can lift people from higher altitudes than the other helicopter they use, which requires the aircraft to be 100 metres from the subjects. 

Missing since Saturday night

Mike Danks, NSR team leader, said rescue crews were called by West Vancouver police about the two men, aged 42 and 38, who were reported missing by a girlfriend at 10 p.m. Saturday.

North Shore Rescue says they have located two missing men in the Cypress ski area, despite poor visibility. (North Shore Rescue/Facebook)

Danks said there was little information to go on and weather and avalanche conditions were poor Saturday night, so crews weren't sent out until first light on Sunday morning.

Haigh said 24 members spent the day searching for the missing pair.

With files from the Canadian Press

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