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

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)
Council to consider raising taxes in 2021

The District of Clearwater council is considering a tax increase this year… Continue reading

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read