'As real as it gets': Snowboarder rescues friend buried in powder
Heart-stopping footage has emerged showing a snowboarder rescuing his friend who was swallowed by a snowbank at Whistler, highlighting the safety risks powder days can bring.
Nigel Landon Beaupre posted a video to Facebook on Sunday that shows a fellow snowboarder jumping off a small cliff before completely disappearing into the snow below.
Beaupre jumped into action, screaming at passing skiers for help as he tried to dig his friend's head out. After uncovering his friend's head and making sure he could breathe, Beaupre cleared enough snow to pull him out.
"It's not every day you have to dig your friend out of the snow to save his life," Beaupre said in the post. "Sixty-plus centimetres overnight is as real as it gets."
Beaupre's scare is the most recent in a series of incidents involving skiers and snowboarders trying to enjoy B.C.'s mountains after fresh snowfall this month.
This weekend, 27-year-old Stewart Elhorn from Campbell River died in a tragic snowboarding accident at Mount Washington. The mountain had recently received more than a metre of snow and witnesses say the young father fell into a tree well.
Earlier this month, an experienced backcountry skier was injured in an avalanche near Mount Seymour. The risk of human-caused avalanches was high, given the snowfall the previous day. The slide sent him tumbling hundreds of metres and crashing into trees, resulting in a broken femur.
Beaupre said his experience made him realize how quickly a fun day can turn into a tragic one.