Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had two rescue calls on a scheduled training night, Wednesday.
The first incident took place on the Evan’s Peak Trail and the volunteer group got the call at around 4 p.m. on Sept. 1, said Rick Laing, with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue (SAR).
The hiker was with three others who were able to call and give GPS coordinates of their location.
“The first rescue happened quite quickly, as a helicopter was called in and the injured was long lined,” said Laing, adding that Coquitlam Search and Rescue and Talon Helicopters were called in for assistance on this rescue due to the nature of the injure and the location of the hiker. The hiker had a possible ankle fracture and was evacuated back to West Canyon SAR Command, while the rest of their group hiked out.
“We have had a number of rescues this year along that trail in the last several months,” he noted.
The hiking group then arranged to transport the injured hiker to hospital, and the search and rescue completed the task by 7 p.m.
“Since everyone had responded to the call, we stayed around in the park to do some training activities. As we were wrapping up, we got another call of an injured hiker above Alder Flats,” said Laing.
The hiker was with a group returning from the summit of Golden Ears, when he took a bad fall near the 8 kilometre mark, and injured his knee. The group was made up of several solo hikers who met on the summit and decided to hike out together. So when the hiker got injured, the group was together, and was able to help the hiker down until they reached a good cell reception area to call for assistance.
“If you are out hiking by yourself — and a lot of people do that — and if something happens to you, you are injured, it could be hard to get help. There isn’t good cell service in a lot of places in the park and it makes it all the more difficult,” said Laing, emphasizing on the importance of hiking with a hiking partner.
“If something is to happen to you, your hiking partner can go find help, or stay with you for company, it is important,” he said.
The Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue received a call at around 9:30 p.m. when the group of hikers was roughly 4 kilometres away from the parking lot. The rescue team then assisted the hiker to the parking lot on a stretcher.
“While both rescues were relatively routine and unfortunate accidents, both parties were relatively well-prepared,” said Laing, adding “It is always good to be well prepared. You don’t have to carry everything but we have seen some people go in just flip-flops and a bottle of water. If something is to happen and you have to stay the night, you at least need something to keep you warm and something to eat.”
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