British Columbia

Still no sign of missing B.C. skier after 2nd day of searching

A lone skier who disappeared in B.C.’s rugged Monashee Mountains on Monday still has not been found, despite the efforts of dozens of searchers.

Mark Gayowski set off to ski alone on Monday but did not return

Gayowski, 34, is an avid skier and posts many pictures of his outdoor adventures. (RCMP)

UPDATE: B.C. skier found safe and healthy after 2 days lost in backcountry

A lone skier who disappeared in B.C.'s rugged Monashee Mountains on Monday still has not been found, despite the efforts of dozens of searchers.

Thirty-four-year-old Mark Gayowski went out skiing around noon PT Monday in an unfamiliar area of the Red Mountain Ski Resort, about 14 kilometres northwest of Trail, according to South Columbia Search and Rescue coordinator Mike Hudson.

Searchers found what appeared to be tracks late Monday that suggested Gayowski was heading into the Esling Creek drainage area where missing people have often been found in the past, according to Hudson.

"They sort of get drawn over the backside of Grey Mountain," said Hudson. "People think they can hike out, but it's really thick with brush and really hard to navigate."

Red Mountain Resort includes three mountains. Searchers say skiers often get drawn over Grey Mountain into a treacherous drainage area. (Red Mountain Resort)

The West Kootenay ski area spans three mountains — Red, Granite and Grey.

Hudson said heavy snow and –3 C temperatures have erased tracks and made conditions difficult for rescuers. 

Thirty people began searching for Gayowski at 6 p.m. on Monday and stayed out until after midnight, when the search was called off because of dark and foggy conditions.

Tuesday's search began at 7:30 a.m. and included six teams using snowmobiles, skis and ATVs, but that effort was suspended by 10 p.m. Ten teams were ready to head into the area again on New Year's Day.

Hudson explained that when people get lost in the Esling Creek drainage area, they often try to hike to the highway that's about 10 kilometres away, but can't move through the underbrush.

Rescuers say Gayowsky was wearing a light blue ski jacket, black ski pants and a tuque and goggles when he set off.

Mark Gayowski, 34, is missing after heading out to ski near Rossland on Monday. (Facebook)