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Squamish Search and rescue aids fallen biker and stranded skiers

A rider fell and struck his head, while an avalanche cut off a path for backcountry skiers.

Squamish Search and Rescue came to the aid of a fallen biker and backcountry skiers who were stranded by an avalanche this past week.

On Wednesday, a rider took a fall while making a jump off Miki's Magic, a blue trail at the Alice Lake and Highlands area.

"That person came off one of the jumps in the middle of the trail and ended up going over the handlebars and striking their face and head," said rescue manager B.J. Chute.

Chute said some RideHub members were at the scene and were able to provide immediate help before SAR crews arrived.

Rescuers drove 4x4s to the area and transported the injured biker to Alice Lake Road, where he was given to paramedics and then rushed to hospital.

On Sunday, an avalanche swept through the Tantalus Traverse, stranding a party of three backcountry skiers.

"I think there was a cornice failure above them that triggered a large avalanche," said Chute. "It didn't take anybody down — the avalanche swept past them and kind of took out their route."

Luckily, none of the skiers were hurt, but the slide cut off their path, leaving them without a way out.

The party was well-prepared and experienced, he said.

Two helicopters flew out to the scene, with the first spotting the terrain from the air and the second picking up the party.

About 20 rescuers were needed for that mission.

"It was fairly straightforward, but it had all the potential to be a worse outcome, so we're very happy that that played out the way that it did," he said.

Chute said it's been a busy time, but people seem to be recreated safely for the most part.

He urged anyone who needs SAR's help to call 911, and reiterated that the service does not charge anyone.

As of May 3, there have been 27 calls this year. This time last year there were 17, and in 2019 there were 14.