Friends and family of the 42-year-old snowboarder who died on Big White Ski Resort last month are raising money for the volunteers that helped to search the mountain during freezing conditions for the man.
Ryan Fletcher was last seen about 1 p.m., on Dec. 26, at the Gem Lake chair-lift as he prepared to do his last run of the day. At about 5 p.m. he was reported missing and RCMP along with Big White Ski Patrol, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR), Vernon (SAR) as well as Penticton (PENSAR) and North Shore Search and Rescue began searching the backcountry of Big White where the snowpack was unstable and subject to considerable and high avalanche risks.
By 12:45 a.m., the search was called off due to inclement weather and poor visibility.
The next day search and rescue volunteers found Fletcher, deceased.
Now, friends and family would like to support those volunteers who took the time to search for Fletcher during extreme weather conditions just a day after Christmas, with a GoFundMe.
The GoFundMe hopes to “Keep Ryan’s memory alive” by raising $40,000 for COSAR.
He was remembered as someone who loved outdoor adventure and had numerous hobbies including surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, boating and wake surfing.
“Ryan took one last run on the mountain and our world became a darker place. Ryan left behind the love of his life, Grace, his Mom Donna, sister Michelle niece Mikaela, and numerous close friends,” stated the fundraiser, organized by Katy Drago.
“Ryan was an avid snowboarder his entire life, he has had a season’s pass at Big White since 1980-something.”
Fletcher is remembered by many including his former employer Kevin Edgecombe, who said, “Ryan was a great young man who worked for me for two years and this GoFundMe will help raise much-needed funds for COSAR.”