Two overdue snowmobilers were rescued early Sunday morning after spending the night on Yank’s Peak in -25C weather.
The two Quesnel men were located following a joint effort between Central Cariboo Search and Rescue, South Cariboo Search and Rescue and the Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club.
“We got the call from the emergency call centre (ECC) in Victoria at about five after 12 [midnight] Saturday night,” said Rick White, director of search and rescue operations with the CCSAR, which is a function of the Cariboo Regional District.
“It was called in by the Quesnel RCMP. The snowmobilers went up to Yank’s Peak at the Wells side and never returned to their vehicle so we activated our units.”
White said two CCSAR members, two WLPKSC members and three SCSAR members, led by search manager Val Severin, located the overdue snowmobilers from Quesnel at roughly 9 a.m. Sunday morning after they’d spent the night in frigid weather on the mountain. Several others volunteered in assisting in the rescue.
WLPKSC director Rick Seibert, who helped in the search alongside fellow WLPKSC member Matt Gertzen, said the overdue snowmobilers got stuck in a drainage basin and were unable to climb out.
“They got over on the back side of what we call Round Top and it was too steep so they just kept going down further,” Seibert said. “It started getting late so they decided to plan to spend the night and get a fire going, stayed nice and warm and carried on down that drainage in the morning to Harvey’s Creek Road, and they just happened to end up in the [Yank’s Peak] parking lot.”
Seibert said once the two missing snowmobilers were located in the parking lot, they headed back up to meet him and Gertzen at the Yank’s Peak Safety Cabin where Gertzen supplied the two men with gas so they could carry on.
“It was basically a trail ride for them on the way home from there,” Seibert said. “The only thing they could have done better was maybe had some way of communicating to people they were OK.”
White said, fortunately, neither overdue snowmobiler required medical aid upon their rescue.
“It was a good outcome,” he said. “Our team was out there for a long duration.”
It is expected to be busy Yank’s Peak this weekend with two day trips planned by the WLPKSC.