North Shore Rescue aiding in aerial search for Squamish mountaineers

North Shore Rescue (NSR) says, with help from its helicopters, the search for three missing Squamish mountain climbers is on.

In a post to social media Wednesday night, NSR says its crews assisted Squamish Search and Rescue (SSAR) with the search on Atwell Peak.

On Wednesday morning, SSAR said the search was “on standby,” as the team waited for cloud cover to clear. 

But according to an 8 p.m. Facebook post by NSR, the weather has let up enough to bring helicopters up the mountain to search.

“NSR and Talon Helicopters searched the area using the heli-mounted RECCO detector. The detector is slung under the helicopter and if someone has a RECCO reflector a signal is picked up,” said NSR.

SSAR manager BJ Chute told CityNews that the task is still considered a rescue operation.

“We’re still considering this an active search and rescue operation until there’s a reason to not consider that. There’s too many factors that I just couldn’t realistically answer [the] question [if they’re still believed to be alive].”

He says the terrain is intense, but the three mountaineers are experienced in the backcountry.

NSR said both it and SSAR will continue the search Thursday.

—With files from Sonia Aslam