WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. - An official says a 33-year-old snowboarder from Ottawa who was rescued from a wilderness area north of Vancouver can expect a hefty bill for searchers' efforts.
Sebastien Boucher got lost on Sunday after straying out of bounds near the Cypress Mountain ski area.
Initial attempts to find him were hampered by poor weather and the risk of avalanches, but searchers managed to locate his tracks late Tuesday in a gully near the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
A Cormorant helicopter was brought in late Tuesday to lift him out of the area and take him to safety, and he was found to be in stable condition despite his ordeal.
Joffrey Koeman of Cypress Mountain said Wednesday that Boucher could be fined up to $10,000 but even that fee won't cover all the costs.
He said Boucher made several mistakes, ignored warning signs, ventured into the backcountry alone, didn't stay in one spot and didn't call for help in a timely manner.
"From our staff, there was probably 50 people that were involved in this, right from security, dispatch, base operations, ski patrol, grooming, down to senior managers following the story, so definitely a lot of hard cost to Cypress for such a long rescue," he said.
The money from a fine would be donated back to North Shore Search and Rescue, said Koeman.
Meantime, Boucher’s mother Micheline Simoneau has praised the rescue team, calling them "angels" and "the best in the world".
Tim Jones of North Shore Search and Rescue said he's begging skiers and boarders to stay within the boundaries.
"When there is a high avalanche hazard, stay in bounds and stay out of the back country: that is our message," he said.
The rescue came in the nick of time as a new snowstorm barrelled down on the Metro Vancouver area, following one on Tuesday that snarled morning commuter traffic. (News1130,CKNW)
Also on HuffPost:
Vail Village was modeled on Switzerland's Zermatt, with a cobblestone pedestrian main street and buildings inspired by Tyrolean architecture. "Pete [Seibert] and Earl [Eaton] were the impetus behind Vail. The rest of us tagged along and had a whole lot of fun. I had the privilege of skiing with Pete his whole life -- we grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts, and even then he cut ski trails into a little hill outside of town." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2012/12/christmas-tree-new-york-london-paris-photos?mbid=synd_huffpo#slide=1" target="_hplink">Amazing Christmas Trees Around the World</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
Though the snow is usually softer in the spring, making for slower skiing, some early visitors to Vail realized that an accordion more than compensated. "In April 1962, I was working in Aspen, and Pete told me I had to see this ski mountain he was working on. We took a snowcat and looked out over the Vail Valley and what would become Sun Up Bowl. It was beautiful." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2012/11/secret-tourist-attractions-travel-places-los-angeles-new-york-city-paris-cairo?mbid=synd_yshine#slide=1" target="_hplink"> Tourist Trap Alternatives</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
Created to be Vail Resort's base village, the town of Vail was incorporated in 1966, four years after the resort opened. "The bowl had a crust of corn snow, and we skied all the way down to the aspens. Those tracks became Vail's Forever trail -- because it took forever to get back up the mountain." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/top-100-hotels-resorts-photos-slideshow?bid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">The Top 100 Hotels in the World</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
At its founding in 1962, Colorado's Vail Resort had one gondola (seen here carrying skiers to Mid Vail), two chair lifts, eight ski instructors and nine runs. "We built a gondola and two lifts the entire summer of '62. That first winter was rough, because there was no snow until late in the season --- we even invited Ute Indians to do a snow dance. I don't know if that was it, but the snow finally fell." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2012/11/themed-hotel-rooms-hard-rock-barbie-eloise-photos?mbid=synd_huffpo#slide=1" target="_hplink">Coolest Themed Hotel Rooms Around the World</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
Early skiers in search of the good life came to Vail for its $5 lift tickets and proximity to Denver (the drive takes half as long as the trip to Aspen). "The day we opened Sun Up Bowl, there was a crowd of maybe 100 people -- I couldn't believe it! Pete and I headed down the ridge to watch." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2012/11/mayan-apocalypse-destinations-mexico-zombie-tours?mbid=synd_huffpo#slide=3" target="_hplink">Where to Go For the Apocalypse</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
Before apps and Wi-Fi, this phone was the best source for up-to-the-minute information on mountain conditions. "Nobody had ever skied a powder bowl like that, and some of them turned all the way down, but plenty just fell into the snow. Pete and I stood there soaking it all in." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/daily-traveler/2012/02/snowiest-places-mountain-alaska-washington?mbid=synd_huffpo#slide=1" target="_hplink">10 of the Snowiest Places Around the World</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>
Morrie Shepard was the Vail Ski School’s first director; an assistant, Rod Slifer, would later help lead the resort’s expansion. "I'm 87 now, and I don't ski like I used to. But I still get my powder days, and I enjoy every turn. Every time I go to Vail, I can't believe what I'm seeing. I never could have dreamed that Vail would become what it is today, but Pete imagined it all along." <strong>Read More: <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/top-100-hotels-resorts-photos-slideshow?bid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">The Top 100 Hotels in the World</a></strong> <em>Courtesy of Vail</em>