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 BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Cedar Valley Lodge, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the LNG Canada Project site in Kitimat. The most recent outbreak among workers at the project site was just declared over. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Second COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site declared over

The outbreak was first declared on Dec. 16, 2020

CGL has closed down the two lodges affected to everyone except the essential staff. (Black Press file photo)
All COVID-19 cases associated with Coastal GasLink outbreak deemed recovered

Outbreaks occurred at CGL project accommodation sites in Burns Lake and Nechako Local Health Areas

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read