A 64-year-old Peachland man was found dead over the weekend on a West Kelowna snowshoeing trail.
According to RCMP, the man was snowshoeing at a local ski resort and failed to return.
With the help of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR), police located the man dead on Sunday, Dec. 27 just after 11:30 p.m., on a lesser travelled trail.
“Criminality is not suspected in the man’s death. The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation to determine all the facts surrounding the death,” said Janelle Shoihet, media relations officer for the BC RCMP.
According to COSAR, the man was found on a trail at the Telemark Nordic Club.
After receiving the call around 7 p.m. Sunday night, 15 COSAR members met and set out in three snowshoe groups, searching for the man. The man, who they knew was likely well prepared and knew the area, did not leave a trip plan. There are over 50 kilometres of snowshoe trails at the nordic club.
With no precise location to look, teams began searching, and eventually located the man deceased. After performing chest compressions and CPR, they were eventually advised by advanced life support paramedics to stop.
Although the outcome was not what they were hoping for, COSAR search manager Brian Stainsby said he is proud of his crews’ efforts.
“The members that were on scene were absolutely professional, efficient and effective. They did an extremely good job. I’m super proud of them,” said Stainsby.
Stainsby said the man likely suffered a medical emergency, was by himself, and couldn’t call for help. He did not have any preexisting conditions.
The search manager said the man was better prepared than most and brought extra clothing and food. However the area he was in lacked consistent phone service and was difficult to reach by snowmobile.
“The amount of effort could have been minimized had we a specific trip plan. There was nothing that we could have done, or done differently, that would have had any impact on the outcome.”
COSAR reminded adventurers to always dress for a potential change in weather, and file a trip plan.
“If you change your destination, text someone or leave a note on your vehicle. That way, if you get in trouble and need assistance, help can arrive sooner,” said Stainsby.
Neither police nor the BC Coroners Service will be identifying the man, and no further information is expected to be released.
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