A missing teenage snowboarder has been located safe at Sun Peaks Resort in B.C., following extensive search efforts, according to police.
Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said the 14-year-old boy took the Kamloops ski shuttle to the resort on Sunday morning but failed to return.
Shelkie said the teenage boy used the chairlift up the mountain on Sunday. Kamloops search and rescue said he was last spotted around 10:30 a.m.
More than 24 hours later, the teen was located on the mountain, safe and sound.
Kamloops RCMP initially said he sought refuge in an old shed after becoming lost on the hill, but later confirmed the snowboarder was unable to gain entry to it.
Police said the boy actually spent the night out in the elements, but near the structure.
On Monday, just after 11:00 a.m., a spotting plane saw his footprints in the snow leading towards the shed, police said.
The plane notified ground crews and Kamloops search and rescue members attended the location on snowmobiles where they located the missing snowboarder.
The teen is reportedly in good spirits, although understandably cold and hungry.
“After becoming lost, the boy stayed at the shed to wait for rescuers, which is the best action he could have taken,” sid Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.
“We are very thankful for this outcome.”
The search efforts to find the missing snowboarder were extensive.
RCMP officers, the police dog service and Kamloops search and rescue scoured the mountainside on the ground.
Kamloops search and rescue manager Alan Hobler said searchers were called to the mountain at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Search and rescue crews from across the province, including the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, 100 Mile House, Shuswap and Salmon Arm, were requested to assist in the search efforts.
“Because of the cold weather conditions, there is a high sense of urgency. We want to find the kid right away,” he told Global News on Monday morning.
The search was also conducted from the sky, with a helicopter and drones.
Hobler said minimal information and out-of-bounds tracks posed some difficulties before the boy was found.
“There is a lack of information. We have confirmation he was on the mountain but we are not sure he has left the mountain or not,” he said.
“One of the frustrating things we are running into is there are tracks leading to the area boundary — so out-of-bound skiers, which we can’t confirm was him or not — so it’s quite frustrating people are skiing out of bounds, and that’s deferring our search efforts away from where they need to be to follow these other tracks.”
A woman who identified herself on Facebook as a family member said he was wearing a white coat with green markings and black pants at the time of his disappearance.
The teen was also reportedly wearing a black helmet and white snowboard boots.
The resort is a 45-minute drive from Kamloops.
Sun Peaks’ 4,270 acres are spread across three skiable peaks, and it is the second largest ski area in Canada, according to the resort’s website.