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

Vanderhoof municipal office sign on Burrard Avenue. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof council discuss requests from NWRI, airport, BC Wildfire

District of Vanderhoof held their regular public meeting of council on April… Continue reading

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

To send in Letters to the Editor, email aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com
Letter: Increased aggression towards staff at Omineca Medical clinic

Dr. Davy Dhillon writes letter on behalf of the clinic

Basin Snow Water Index map for Apr. 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre photo/Lakes District News)
Snowpack above normal for Upper Fraser West basin

Snowpack assessments for early April reveals above normal levels for northwestern British… Continue reading

Four young women prepare to model Magic Wand dresses at a fashion show. Magic Wand provides grad dresses and tuxedos for a nominal fee. (Submitted File Photo)
Nominations available for Cindrella Dreams Program in Vanderhoof

New organizer excited to help graduates with formal wear

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read