By Charlie Gillis - Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 0 Comments
Charging fees could mean even more problems, argues search and rescue association
The snowboarder was suitably chastened when he returned to warmth and safety. He thanked his rescuers, and voiced remorse for straying out of bounds on Cypress Mountain, forcing crews to pluck him from a snowy ravine near North Vancouver, B.C. “I’ll never do it again,” said the 30-year-old, whose name the rescue team tactfully withheld. “Nobody should.” But for some, the apology didn’t cut it. After three high-risk rescues in the area in three weeks, the familiar demand that wayward adventurers start paying the cost of their own salvation gained renewed traction in B.C., where more than half of Canada’s emergency searches take place each year.
Make that four rescues. On Sunday, volunteers with the North Shore Search and Rescue team were back among the firs—this time to save a snowshoer who had fallen and suffered a head injury on nearby Hollyburn Mountain. All three of the previous rescuees were people who had deliberately strayed from delineated ski zones—a fact that further stoked public ire. Angry citizens lit up the lines on call-in shows, while the Vancouver Sun published an editorial decrying the “cost and risk to the brave volunteers who donate their time and expertise to help people in trouble.” Operators of the Cypress Mountain ski resort actually billed one of the snowboarders, 33-year-old Sebastien Boucher, $10,000 for its part in a three-day search that ended with his miraculous rescue. Continue…