Four American skiers have been airlifted back to the States following an avalanche on Mount Mackienear near Rossland during a cat ski operation with Big Red Cats last Thursday.
The avalanche occurred Thursday afternoon at approximately 2:30 p.m. and resulted in broken bone injuries to four skiers from Spokane, Washington.
“There was an avalanche with a group from Big Red Cats,” Paula Gaul from the cat ski company said last Friday. “It took quite a lot of time to do the rescue, a few hours to get them out, because they were an expert group and it was a cliffy area.”
Search and Rescue teams were not called in as the company’s own crew was able to complete the extrication. The rescue involved the Big Red Cat team skiing in through trees to the site with toboggans, securing the injured to the rescue sled, then skiing them out. The four of them went by ambulance to Trail, and then by air ambulance to Spokane, their home.
According to their website, Big Red Cats is one of the biggest cat operations in the world and all guides have CSGA, ACMG or international equivalent guide qualifications and CAA professional avalanche training.
Finally, they have seen more than 25” inches of snow during the last week and a total of 140.8” this season.