On Monday, Jan. 2, the Lillooet RCMP, BC Ambulance and local Search Rescue Teams responded to two separate avalanche incidents in and around the Bralorne area, involving back country skiers. In both avalanches a single skier was involved suffering non life threatening injuries.
At around 2:42 pm Jan. 2 the Lillooet RCMP Detachment received a report that at least three snowmobilers had traveled into the back country utilizing snowmobiles to transport downhill skiers in the Sunshine Mountain area near Bralorne. It was reported that a male in his mid thirties was involved in an avalanche while descending a run on skis. The man was caught in the avalanche and carried down the mountain into trees and debris.
The group was able to locate the man and one of the party remained with the injured male to assist with injuries. A second male in the party traveled approximately one and a half hours to call for assistance for the injured male. Lillooet RCMP activated local Search and Rescue via PEP who utilized a helicopter to remove the injured man. The man was taken by helicopter to the Whistler Medical Center for medical treatment. A large group of local back country enthusiasts who were in the area also assisted with the rescue efforts.
The second avalanche was reported at around 3:30 pm to the Lillooet RCMP and had occurred near the first, in an area referred to as Elderado. The second avalanche involved a group of eight self-guided ski touring skiers, where one skier was caught in the avalanche and was rescued by his companions. The man suffered non life threatening injuries. Information to date indicates that the group had split into two groups, one of six and the other of two. The group of two skiers observed the avalanche occur and saw their companions being overcome by the avalanche. The group called the Tyax Wilderness Resort for assistance.
The sole injured victim was flown from the avalanche area by TLH heli-Ski and returned to the Tyax resort where he was then taken to the Lillooet Hospital for medical attention by BC Ambulance. The group of touring skiers were not guests of TLH nor Tyax and were a self-guided group.
“The RCMP would like to thank all professional and volunteer emergency personnel along with TLH Heli-ski/Tyax Wilderness Resort and the other back country enthusiast who assisted in today’s rescues. The immediate response by all, certainly played a key role in the positive outcome in a bad situation,” stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk.