Hope Search and Rescue aided in finding a skier near the Coquihalla summit on Monday night. (Contributed)

Hope Search and Rescue aided in finding a skier near the Coquihalla summit on Monday night. (Contributed)

26 SAR members assist in late-night rescue of skier near Coquihalla Summit

Hope, Chilliwack and Central Fraser Valley SAR dispatched

Hope Search and Rescue was part of a large-scale operation to help a lost skier find her way back home after she became disoriented near the Coquihalla Summit.

According to Hope Search and Rescue president Barry Gannon, the search began on Monday night at about 7 p.m. It took 26 SAR workers – from Hope, Central Fraser Valley and Chilliwack Search and Rescue – seven hours to find the skier, who went to Falls Lake and couldn’t find her way back. Some searched the area on skis while others were on snowmobiles.

The lost skier sustained no injuries.

“The team that was made to wait on the trail just before Falls Lake…stumbled across her and brought her out,” Gannon said. “She was okay, just cold and wet.”

Gannon said it’s common for skiers to get disoriented around Falls Lake.

RELATED: Busy weekend for Hope Search and Rescue on local highways

“Mostly what happens is they get turned around on the trail up there,” he added. “Instead of coming back toward Highway 5 in the parking lot, they go left instead of right and they get turned around. They go into the underbrush and get disoriented.”

For those who are going out skiing, they should come prepared with the proper supplies to stay overnight in the back country in the event Search and Rescue is needed.

“She did have a backpack; she would probably have survived overnight, but I don’t think it was enough,” Gannon said. “You’ve got to be able to make yourself a shelter overnight because sometimes we can’t get in to get them.”

Gannon recommends anyone venturing into the bush, skiing or otherwise, to invest in an SOS beacon, an alert device designed to send a distress signal and GPS coordinates to SAR and emergency workers. At the very least, they should go in with a fully charged phone or backup power source so pinging a phone to determine location can be an option; the missing skier’s phone battery was dead. Backpacks taken into the bush during the winter in particular should have supplies to keep outdoor adventurers warm and dry.

RELATED: Hope search crews go on back-to-back call outs in Hope, Sunshine Valley

In the event people find themselves lost, they should stay put, Gannon said.

“We always tell people to stay put, because if they’re on the move, we can’t find them. It’s harder for us to find them if they’re moving.”

Gannon said the skier did the right thing in texting a friend who was familiar with the area where she was going.

“Make sure to do a trip plan,” he recommends. “They should have the trip planned when they’re going in and when they’re expected to come out.”


@adamEditor18
adam.louis@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

HopeSearch and Rescue

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

Just Posted

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Courtenay skateboarder selected to first-ever national team

A young man from Courtenay is among 12 athletes who have been… Continue reading

Shelter Point Distillery won several Canadian Whisky Awards this year, including a gold for best single malt. Facebook photo
Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery wins gold for single malt

Business won nine medals at recent Canadian Whisky Awards virtual ceremony

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A publicly accessible defibrillator as well as naloxone and first aid kits are included in a stand that has been installed at Crescent Beach. It is one of two planned for the South Surrey neighbourhood as St. John Ambulance works to install 1,000 of the life-saving devices around the province. (Contributed photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

Sponsors sought for stands that cost about $8,000 to equip and install

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

Most Read