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Chopper rescues injured hiker on Golden Ears trail

A 15-year-old hiker had to spend the night on the Golden Ears trail before being airlifted to safety after badly spraining her ankle on the weekend.

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue received a call for an injured hiker at 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening on the trail to the Golden Ears summit in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Volunteer rescue crews found the hiker six kilometres from the trail head.

“We were able to ascertain she was somewhere above the Alder Flats area,” said Rick Laing, team manager for Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.

An air ambulance helicopter was called in, however, with daylight waning, the decision was made to wait until morning to fly out the injured hiker.

“Given her injuries, we felt it best to keep her there overnight and fly her out first thing in the morning,” said Laing.

He estimated it would have taken the injured hiker close to four hours to make it down the trail in her condition.

The 15-year-old was in a hiking party led by two adults, who had brought camping gear along for the hike.

“They had intended on camping, so they were prepared to spend the night,” Laing said.

He added that all hikers attempting to reach the Golden Ears summit should be prepared with camping gear, in case they have to spend the night on the trail unexpectedly.

The rescue was Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue’s only call over the long weekend, typically a busy time for volunteers.

“It’s been really quiet for us,” said Laing. “Everybody has been playing safe.”

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