Skier lucky to be alive

North Shore Search and Rescue say a skier who spent much of Monday night in the cold on Cypress Mountain is lucky to be alive today.

Nikita Markov, an experienced skier, somehow skied past a skull and crossbones out-of-bounds sign and wound up in trouble.

Markov spent five hours alone in the cold waiting for search crews to reach him Monday night. The 39 year old was trapped in a steep area about 100 metres up from a waterfall that's claimed lives in the past.

Rescuers were able to use his cellphone to determine his co-ordinates, but even that was dicey as his battery was down to seven per cent charged by the time he was rescued.

Crews used a helicopter to help find the skier, but were not able to long-line him off the mountain due to lack of daylight. Instead, two different teams spent an hour hiking to reach him.

"Very big thank you to them because without them I probably wouldn't be here," Markov said.

It was a busy weekend for search and rescue across the province, North Shore responded to 3 calls over the weekend and Cosar and Penticton Search and rescue also had their hands full this weekend as well.

-with files from CTV

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