Family rescued near Sun Peaks makes large donation to KSAR

By Jessica Lepp
February 13, 2016 - 12:32pm Updated: February 13, 2016 - 3:31pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops Search and Rescue has received a large donation from the father of a family of 6 who skied out of bounds at Sun Peaks and required rescue on Family Day.

KSAR Manager Alan Hobler wouldn't say how much money they were gifted but describes it as a sizable amount that will cover the cost of the rescue and help purchase a lot of much needed equipment.

Hobler says, “he wants to cautious the public on how easy it is to make a mistake like what he did. He realized he was ducking the ropes, but didn't realize that he was putting his family at risk and thought he would be able to navigate back to the village. He said sooner after he made that mistake, he realized how serious it was and eventually called for help.”

Hobler says this incident is a strong reminder that you should never duck under the ropes on a ski hill.

“Often those runs look safe, but they are unmanaged avalanche slopes and they will almost never lead you back to the village.

WATCH: Reaction to the rescue from February 8th

With the donation came a letter from the Father cautioning others not to make the same mistake they did.

" It is easy to stereotype 'idiots' like me and think that this could never happen to you, but please learn from my story. It was not for the sake of adventure or fresh powder that I decided to go out of bounds with my family and end up in such a serious situation. After skiing on what I mistook as a valid ski run headed to the village, I found myself having to choose between the 6 of us walking back uphill 400 meters or cross the out of bounds line for a short cut to another run. After consulting my GPS and seeing how close to the run we were, seeing fresh ski tracks and knowing trails fed into our intended route nearby, I chose to cross into the out of bounds area. At the time it didn’t seem so, but clearly this was a huge mistake and I hope that others can learn from it. The benefit seemed to greatly outweigh the risk. Even though we are all excellent skiers this fact didn’t play into my decision as the terrain was gently sloped and the next run supposedly only a short ski away. After a bit of skiing in the trees brought us to steep terrain, it became clear that we had missed the run and were not tracking towards it, I fought the urge to continue, swallowed my pride and made the call for help. The big message I hope to pass on is that on the mountain, even small calculated risks can be quickly become very big mistakes. Please don’t let one mistake snowball into something terrible. I was wrong to go beyond boundary markers. I am very thankful for the skilled personnel who put their own lives at risk for our well-being.

Thank you."

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