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Zee 01-07-2009 10:32 AM

Four "Rescued" from Grouse Backcountry
North Shore Rescue: Four Rescued on Grouse Mountain

Reading what actually happened, looks like Grouse used NSR to enforce their resort boundary. Very dangerous precedent indeed.

killclimbz 01-07-2009 10:57 AM

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Yeah, that has been the big deal about this even more than anything. Again, these guys were being blatant idiots but that is a new tactic.

baldylox 01-07-2009 11:31 AM

I'm confused....why did they go after them? It doesn't say anything about an avalanche. :confused:

killclimbz 01-07-2009 11:42 AM

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They ducked ropes in front of ski patrol and the avalanche conditions were pretty sketchy. No avalanche, but just imagine how much this pisses off ski patrol. I am sure if they had of gone through an actual access point (not sure if they exist on grouse) you wouldn't have the fuss. Which goes back to another post of mine. If you are going to duck ropes, don't get caught. Rule #1 of poaching. These guys are just ruining it for everyone else.

killclimbz 01-07-2009 11:48 AM

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Also if you want to see why officials in Canada are so gun shy. has a list of all fatalities from avalanche incidents in North America. Generally the US has almost double the incidents than Canada. Not this year.

arsenic0 01-07-2009 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 106454)
I don`t know, reading more into this from the various blogs, I see their point. If someone takes on the risk, and the SAR entity decides to "rescue" someone who does not want or need rescued, then the cost should be carried by the SAr not the individual. I think this sets a bad precedence for someone who may not be a good judge of conditions to decide to rescue and charge someone when they are not in need of it. If the resort has a no going out of bounds policy, then fine, pull their pass, but I think chraging the men for this "rescue" is a bit fascist.

Reading through the blog it looks like they arent being charged and that the heli was sent because it was already in the air to make sure they did not accidentally go east instead of south and possibly get stuck in sheer cliffs as others had before.
Also going up 4 people with 1 snow shovel is just irresponsible no matter how pro you are. Even more so considering they split into two groups of two as they went down..

legallyillegal 01-08-2009 03:59 AM

Eh, I have mixed feelings. They weren't geniuses, but it is a Provincial Park (at least, I think it is; I know Seymour and Cypress are; I also do not know how much of that land is owned by Grouse themselves).

Right now, it seems more like the hill is using their "reject-because-we-feel-like-it" clause.

Say your local hill closes the lifts at 3:30pm. This essentially puts CLOSED signs everywhere. Are you still on a run? They could, citing their terms, revoke your pass. Likely won't happen, but they have the power to do so.

A very odd situation.

Right now, I'm disagreeing with Grouse Mgmt, although there appears to be some BSing from both sides.

arsenic0 01-08-2009 05:49 PM

Really? Did your read the blog post by the Grouse Mgmt guy that initiated all of this? What he did not only sounds reasonable it sounds like he did the correct thing saftey wise.

Heres what he said


Response from Tim Jones Operational SAR Manager

I appreciate everyone's comments. I will provide a brief summary of what NSR did.

The following response took place over approximately 25 minutes from the time I was called.

* I was contacted by a fellow SAR MGR who volunteers for FASP on Grouse.He at this time became aware of the situation and was coordinating with Grouse Patrol who were asking for our assistance
* He stated that 3 skiers and a snowboarder entered Thrasher Creek via the controlled ski area against the warnings of a Grouse Ski Patroller
* At no time did anyone on the Grouse Patrol or my fellow SAR MGR know what skill level or equipment was carried by these individuals or that they had GPS's and hiked this terrain last summer. We do not have a crystal ball.
* Given the past history of Thrasher Creek ( Father and son incident last year during considerable avi hazard)) there was a concern that this group would not know the gully exit south through the saddle to Mountain Hwy and if they continued east it would put them in very steep cliffy terrain under Fromme Mtn.
* I requested my fellow SAR MGR to have Grouse contact North Vancouver RCMP to advise and generate a file number and I would check with Peter Marshall a local forecaster with CAC as to his assessment of Avi Hazard in Thrasher Creek specifically. Peter who is the former head of Grouse Patrol stated CONSIDERABLE.
* Given the past history of trapped skiers and boarders in Thrasher Creek of which with one exception had missed the exit and had gone due east under Fromme, the CONSIDERABLE Avi rating in real time by Peter, the possibility of our team members having to rescue these people, and a cloud system moving into Grouse, the following very prudent actions took place in close coordination with Grouse Patrol and the RCMP
* I called RCMP Air Services to explain the situation to see if they had their patrol helicopter Air 1 up in the air which they did. I advised them that North Van RCMP had been called and could Air 1 come up on our frequency. PEP was called and our tasking was initiated
* Air 1 then came up on our frequency and advised they contacted North Van RCMP also to close the loop. Air 1 was over SFU
* I advised them of the situation and gave them the Latitude and Longitude and approx elevation to look for this group estimating time distance travelled
* The goal was for Air 1 see if they had turned south through the saddle exit to Mtn Hwy
* AIR 1 quickly ID'd the group which by this time was spilt into 2 groups of two
* AIR 1 confirmed they had turned south and were heading for a Grouse Patroller stationed on a snowmobile on Mountain Hwy. Air 1 gave me Lat/Long which I confirmed on my map.
* Very quickly the first two were intercepted by the Grouse patroller with the other two later on intercepted by Grouse Patrol
* At this point our operational involvement ceased as well as AIR 1's
* My fellow SAR MGR who was on Grouse participated in the debriefing of the 4 individuals with Grouse Staff and the RCMP
* I was informed by both my fellow SAR MGR and Grouse Staff that these individuals all had transceivers but only 1 SHOVEL between them.I do not know if they had probes and no one could confirm that with me

I hope this summary helps to sheds light on the work we do with RCMP Air Services and our primary helicopter operator Talon Helicopters that often the public never know about. There is so many times I have lost count where tasks start exactly like this and turn into full blown rescues. Please understand we take this very seriously and aggressively on the front end for this exact reason.

As for charging people for rescues NSR has a long standing team policy specifically against this for multiple reasons (i.e. inability to pay leads to evasion or a family and friend rescue attempt that goes awry)

Grouse's decision to take the passes away for these individuals was part of their long standing Responsibility Code.I support this decision based on the information I received.


Tim Jones, Team Leader NSR

legallyillegal 01-09-2009 12:23 AM

Like I said, BSing from both sides.

Quirky media out here.

killclimbz 01-09-2009 07:57 AM

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Only bringing 1 shovel and saying they knew what they were doing? Uh huh. Pretty obvious they are rubes in the backcountry. Ducking a rope and not using an access gate leaves most resorts with some level of responsibility. Not to mention they ignored ski patrol. Maybe a bit of a over reaction but there dudes were jerks. Reap what you sow and all.

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