A Maple Ridge man is lucky to be alive after taking a tumble over a waterfall in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturday.
The man in his late 40s was attempting to retrieve a set of earmuffs dropped by his hiking companion at the top of the waterfall on Viking Creek when he slipped and fell close to 10 metres, according to Rick Laing, with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue.
The man suffered cuts and scrapes from the fall, but was able to walk out of the park to a waiting ambulance.
“He had a good bang to the face and head,” said Laing. “It could have been a lot worse.”
There have been two similar accidents at the same waterfalls over the past 15 years.
“The injuries in those cases were much more severe,” Laing added.
Hikers should use caution around the falls, as the granite facing the creeks can be slippery, he warned.
“The waterfall is a little deceiving,” said Laing. “Its slopes down about 80 degrees, sort of like a really steep waterslide, so you can’t really tell how far down it goes.”
The falls are about a 45-minute hike from the park’s main parking lot, just off the West Canyon Trail.
Laing said search and rescue received a broken 911 call from a cell phone around 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Eight or nine volunteers searched the West Canyon Trail, where they found the injured man being helped down the trail by his companion.