Carson Hadwin, a 14-year-old from Kamloops, was found safe and sound on the mountain on Feb. 3 after becoming lost and spending a cold night alone.
Carson was reported missing when a shuttle driver noticed he hadn’t shown up for a ride home to Kamloops and Search and Rescue (SAR), RCMP and ski patrol were soon involved in a search that was paused overnight and resumed at sunrise.
With the help of a plane, helicopter, dogs, drones, community volunteers and multiple SAR agencies, Hadwin was located safely on the mountain, having made his way to a shed below the Gil’s skiing area.
The boy was taken off the mountain by helicopter for medical attention for some frostbite.
His mother, Alicia Hadwin, thanked those who helped look for Carson.
“It was the worst days of my life,” she wrote in an emotional post on social media. “My son being missing, on a mountain overnight and alone. Words cannot express how grateful Brian, myself and our entire family are for the efforts of everyone involved in rescuing him and bringing him home safely.”
Alicia pointed to Carson’s quick thinking for his survival.
“Survival skills are important. We are lucky that our son is so smart and quick thinking. He kept himself alive on that mountain overnight. He slept on the snow with only a jacket covering his head.”
BC AdventureSmart, which works with the BC SAR Association to reduce the number and severity of search and rescue incidents, said Carson made the right decision to stay put and wait for help.
The organization offers free programs for all ages to learn how to stay safe while adventuring, including a trip planning app to share your plans with family or friends.
Resources on trip safety for kids and adults are available at adventuresmart.ca
Meanwhile, Carson is back home with his family.
“I cannot explain the feeling of hearing that they found him, that he was responsive and that he was walking,” wrote Alicia. “The outcome that we had is the best possible one, however it is not the outcome that typically happens. Teach your children a few small things that they can do to keep them going. If they snowboard or ski alone make sure they have warm clothing on, keep a few easy snacks in their jacket pockets.”