Rescue from Edge Peak. (Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue photo)

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue delayed one hour responding to a call in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturday

The rescue team was stuck behind a lineup of vehicles waiting to get into park

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue were delayed about one hour trying to access Golden Ears Provincial Park on Saturday, July 18, for a rescue along a trail.

The call for help came in just after 11 a.m., said team leader Brent Boulet.

A woman who was hiking with a partner along East Canyon Trail in the park slipped along the path and broke her ankle.

The pair had already spent one night in the park and were planning to spend a second night when the accident took place, said Boulet.

However, access to the park was already being limited because capacity had been reached and as Search and Rescue vehicles attended the scene, they became stuck in the lineup of vehicles that wove down along Fern Crescent.

Members had to coordinate with park operators to help them get around the lineup of vehicles, explained Boulet.

Then they were unable to access their main command post because people had parked on either side of the road and they couldn’t get their vehicles past, added Boulet. So the team had to find an alternative staging area.

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Once the group of about 10 members were staged, though, they were able to reach the victim in about half-an-hour.

Boulet and one other member rode e-bikes to the scene where they treated the woman for her injury. Then they made the decision to carry her out by stretcher along the trail until they could meet with their UTV, an ATV with four seats, that drove her to a waiting ambulance.

It took around two hours to get her to the ambulance and she was out of the park by about 3:30 p.m., noted Boulet.

“It was a pretty straightforward rescue and they were definitely well prepared. It was just an unfortunate accident,” said Boulet, adding that the pair of hikers did everything right by calling for help and staying with one another.

Boulet said the trail where the pair were found is considered easy terrain.

“It just was an unfortunate slip and fall,” he said.

Last night, just before 8pm, RMSAR received a call for a stranded hiker on Edge Peak in Golden Ears Park. With the…

Posted by Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

“It’s just a reminder to everyone going out hiking to be prepared, like always, cause anything can happen,” added Boulet.

On July 6, just before 8 p.m. Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue received a call for a stranded hiker who was attempting a solo trip of the Golden Ears Traverse in Golden Ears Park.

The hiker had been following only a GPS map found online.

The team were assisted by Talon Helicopters where they found the person on a ledge below the summit of Edge Peak and were inserted onto a snow field below.

They had to then climb the steep terrain where they were able to successfully evacuate the person minutes before the helicopters had to return to Vancouver International Airport.

Boulet says the Search and Rescue organization gets about 30 calls per year but have received around four or five calls over the past month.

But, he believes that the increase in not unusual for the summer months when the weather is nice and people want to get outdoors.

Although Golden Ears park is the busiest Boulet has ever seen, rescue calls are not on the rise, he said.

“Sometimes it surprises me that we aren’t getting more calls.”


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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