Couple missing for days in Kootenay backcountry found after stomping ‘HELP’ into snow

The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)
The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)
The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, after Gibbons reported her missing. (RCMP handout)

The word “HELP” etched in large letters in the snow was what led rescuers to finding a man and woman safe and sound after being stranded for several days in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains this week.

The search for Catherine Gibbons, 22, and Damon Brodeur, 24, began Wednesday when Gibbons’ family reported her missing after not hearing from her for five days. It was believed the two were camping in the backcountry, police said in a news release Thursday.

On Thursday, as police conducted aerial search with local rescue crews, investigators spotted Gibbons car stuck in an ice-filled creek along a forest service road, just northeast of Cranbrook.

Near the car, investigators could see a bright orange tarp, as well as the word “HELP” stamped into the snow. To the left of the car, a large arrow was also marked into the snow, leading searchers to a cabin where the pair, along with their dog, had taken shelter for days.

“All were in good spirits,” police said, and the Gibbons and Brodeur were taken to a nearby hospital for a full medical assessment out of precaution.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This concept artwork from July 2020 shows the inland port planned for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site in Terrace. (Image courtesy Hatha Callis, Progressive Ventures Group)
Terrace city council approves inland port OCP amendments

Project still requires zoning bylaw, development permit to continue

This copper frog pendant was made by Jamika Aksidan, a young Nisga’a artist who was recently recognized with an award for her work. (Photo courtesy Nisga’a Museum)
Nisga’a youth artist wins award

Award includes $500, exhibition in Nisga’a Museum

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read