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Lost skier found in backcountry near Rossland

A 20-year-old Thunder Bay man who went missing while skiing out-of-bounds at Red Mountain Resort has been found safe.

RCMP say the man was reported missing by his parents when he failed to return at the end of the day on Dec. 29. The ski patrol notified RCMP and search and rescue, who began looking.

Search teams were able to locate the missing man’s last known whereabouts on Gray Mountain by tracking his cell phone and air tag, and using information from the electronic ski gate records.

The search paused around 1 a.m. due to darkness but resumed a few hours later.

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Rescuers located the man in the morning walking down the road around the 13-kilometre mark on the old Cascade Highway. The man said he had made a shelter overnight before trying to walk to safety. He wasn’t injured.

RCMP. Mike Wicentowich thanked Red Mountain Resort and Rossland, Castlegar, and South Columbia Search and Rescue “for their quick and professional responses.”

“Please stay within marked boundaries and designated trails when you are skiing on any mountain resort,” he said. “Skiing out-of-bounds and in the backcountry is ill-advised for the solo person who is unprepared and untrained.”

Wicentowich said hundreds of people are lost and injured in the backcountry each year, a number that could be lowered with some precautions before stepping foot into challenging terrain.

Anyone travelling in the backcountry should complete a basic avalanche skills training course and carry proper backcountry safety gear.

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