Two hikers had to be rescued yesterday evening from Coliseum Mountain in Lynn Valley after they found themselves unable to carry on due to a lack of preparation.
When rescue crews arrived on the mountain at around 8 p.m. Sunday night, they found the pair in running shoes with no socks and very limited supplies.
“These guys did summit, but they got to the top and one of the two was not in in very good shape at all – he was starting to cramp up and he didn’t have enough food or water and you get to a point where you can’t really move anymore,” North Shore Rescue’s Mike Danks tells Vancity Buzz.
Danks says they got the call at 5:30 p.m. from BC Ambulance about the hikers, and two helicopters were sent to two different helipads located at Norvan Falls. Upon arrival, crews gave the hikers food and water, and got them walking again, but because it was getting dark, they decided it was best to fly them back to safety.
“We’re not in the business of just flying people out – each situation, we’re going to make an assessment, and if we deem that these people are ok to walk out, then that’s what’s going to happen,” says Danks.
He says North Shore Rescue has received around 26 calls so far this year, resulting in mounting frustration for rescue crews.
“People think it’s summer out there because it’s warm and sunny, but we have full-on winter conditions in the backcountry still. People need to be aware of that.”
“In some areas like the Hanes Valley, we have boulder fields that are just covered by snow, but enough that people think they can walk anywhere on that slope – but the problem is, you can easily break through and fall three or four feet and fracture your leg.”
Danks adds North Shore rescue is planning to do a blitz to promote proper hiking safety for the upcoming spring and summer season.