02/23/2014 16:10 EST | Updated 04/25/2014 05:59 EDT

North Shore Rescue thanked by lost-and-found snowboarder

A snowboarder is thanking North Shore Rescue after he journeyed out-of-bounds and became lost near the Cypress Mountain ski area Saturday afternoon.

Gordon Smith says he followed an out-of-bounds trail and ended up heading down a ravine. He said he thought he could find his own way out of the woods, but conditions became too treacherous.

"The snow was, like, up to my chest and trees — like, so many trees down, huge tree wells, like really, really, really dangerous," he said.

As the day wore on, Smith knew he he was in trouble, so he called for help.

"I was hiking for seven hours," he said.

"If it wasn't for North Shore Rescue, I wouldn't have got out," Smith said.

"They were awesome. They gave me snowshoes, gave me water."

'We've got avalanche danger' 

North Shore Rescue search manager Douglas Pope said Smith is lucky he still had power on his cellphone so that searchers could locate him.

The search and rescue group is now warning other skiers, snowboarders, and snow-seekers to be careful.

"The snow's great. We've had a lot of snow on the North Shore mountains in the last couple of weeks. But enjoy the snow on the resorts on the ski hills," Pope said. 

"The out-of-bounds the snow is very deep. We've got avalanche danger and you're putting both yourself and the rescue teams at risk by going out-of-bounds."

The Canadian Avalanche Centre says the risk of a small or medium avalanche on the North Shore mountains is possible, particularly near ridge tops and steeper terrains.

Pope said if you do become lost in the mountains, stay put and call for help immediately.