Shuswap Search and Rescue member Kat Gunion carries out logistics with the mapping program during the search for three snowmobilers on Owl’s Head Mountain on New Year’s Day. (Shuswap Search and Rescue photo)

Shuswap Search and Rescue member Kat Gunion carries out logistics with the mapping program during the search for three snowmobilers on Owl’s Head Mountain on New Year’s Day. (Shuswap Search and Rescue photo)

Three Shuswap snowmobilers stranded near Sicamous rescued on New Year’s Day

Shuswap Search and Rescue leads regional effort to find trio forced to spend cold night on mountain

Three Shuswap snowmobilers spent New Year’s Eve stranded on a mountain, but were rescued alive and well on New Year’s Day.

Shuswap Search and Rescue (SAR) reports that its members were called out at 8:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to find three missing snowmobilers from the Owl’s Head recreation area near Sicamous. Missing were three men, two 19 year olds and an 18-year-old from Enderby, all described as having moderate sledding ability.

That night, with Sicamous RCMP on scene, Shuswap SAR set up a mobile command post at the Owl’s Head parking lot with multiple snowmobiles ready for action.

“Five Shuswap SAR, two Revelstoke SAR , and seven members of the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club were put into teams and dispatched to start an immediate search. Searching late into the following year nothing was found so searchers rested until morning when the search was resumed,” states a report from Shuswap SAR.

Related: 2017 – Second snowmobiler rescued from Owl’s Head area

On New Year’s Day, the search carried on with extra searchers including members from Revelstoke SAR and Vernon SAR, along with the aid of an Avi2 avalanche technician from Revelstoke who was checking conditions from a helicopter.

The searchers were able to determine the radio frequency that the lost snowmobilers were on and finally located the men at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

“The three missing snowmobilers had been stuck in drainage beyond the Owl’s Head snowmobile cabin where they had spent the night by a fire to stay warm. Fortunately, they had brought enough provisions to look after themselves in case of emergency,” states the Shuswap SAR report.

The three snowmobilers were taken out with the aid of a helicopter and SAR members on snowshoes. The last helicopter run was made just as bad weather was setting in, but all searchers made it back safely.


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Shuswap Search and Rescue manager Randy Lewis makes one more phone call during the search for three snowmobilers on Owl’s Head Mountain on New Year’s Day. (Shuswap Search and Rescue photo)

Shuswap Search and Rescue manager Randy Lewis makes one more phone call during the search for three snowmobilers on Owl’s Head Mountain on New Year’s Day. (Shuswap Search and Rescue photo)