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Search and rescue gear remains on Black Mountain

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – North Shore Rescue is abandoning efforts to recover gear used during the rescue of a snowboarder Tuesday.

Crews launched an air operation to try and retrieve the $30,000 worth of gear that was dropped during the December 18 rescue of Sebastien Boucher, but were unable to complete the mission.

Tim Jones with North Shore Rescue says weather conditions weren’t cooperating.

“The safety parametres we put on this are far greater than on a real task because this is only gear, we’re not going after a person or saving a life. This is very essential gear, gear we need to reconstitute for one of our helicopter flight rescue kits, but it’s not going to stop our team from conducting another SAR operation,” he explains.

“It’s a combination of our helicopter flight rescue gear, hypothermia gear, survival gear, rope rescue gear, plus personal packs that were left at a different site, that’s where we were winched out on Tuesday night because it was too dangerous for the SAR techs to go back down and get our gear, it was a very tight situation on Tuesday night just getting us out,” Jones describes.

He says the gear is in two locations on Black Mountain. One location is at 3000 feet where SAR crews were first inserted by long line. The second location is at 1000 feet in a ravine where they found the 33-year-old snowboarder.

Jones says this call required “taking the kitchen sink in.”

“We weren’t sure where the guy was when we spotted the tracks, we didn’t know if he was high up or low down. We anticipated we may have to stay with him overnight, if not for two or three days, because of the snow conditions. We weren’t taking anything for granted on this task,” he says.

Jones doesn’t know when they can make another attempt at trying to grab the gear.