On January 31, 2016 at approximately 16:30, NSR received a call from BC Ambulance for a young male snowshoer in medical distress at the top of Black Mountain. This individual had been snowshoeing on the marked Black Mountain loop trail when he collapsed. Cypress Ski Patrol members were quick to jump into action responding to the area of the call while simultaneously activating BC Ambulance and NSR. From the information provided to Cypress Patrol and NSR, it was clear that this individual needed advanced medical care quickly. Due to the poor weather and lack of daylight, helicopter access was out of the question.
Approximately 25 North Shore Rescue members responded to Cypress Bowl and made access to the scene alongside Cypress Ski Patrol members. Arriving on scene, four good samaritans were found to be assisting the patient, while also suffering from mild hypothermia themselves. While medical members began treating the patient, other members worked to stamp down the snow to make an easy egress route to the ski run.
NSR member and BC Ambulance Advanced Life Support Paramedic, Miles Randell, knowing that he was dealing with a very sick individual delivered intravenous medications and was able to establish an airway for transport. Using the Cypress Patrollers rescue toboggan, patrollers and NSR members were able to move the patient to the ski run once the patient had been stabilized on scene. From there, the ski patrollers and the SAR medics moved the patient down to the waiting advanced life support unit from BC Ambulance.
This call was an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation and true professionalism. BC Ambulance Paramedics, Cypress Ski Patrol and NSR members worked together to get a very sick young man to the hospital.
This was not necessarily a direct factor in this call, but it is an excellent example of why it is important to remember to carry the 10 essentials even on a short snowshoe trip on a marked loop trail. If you come across someone in medical need, or a member of your party requires help, you could potentially have to stay with them for an extended period of time. If you do not have spare warm clothes, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing hypothermia. Similarly, if you have the 10 essentials, you have all the tools to potentially save a life!