Military lends hand in mountain rescue

A dramatic moonlight rescue from the side of a mountain near Princeton had a fortunate outcome Tuesday morning.

A dramatic moonlight rescue from the side of a mountain near Princeton had a fortunate outcome Tuesday morning.

A young hiker, who was struck on the head by a falling rock on Johnny’s Hat Mountain, was recovered and transported to Penticton General Hospital where she is in stable condition.

The victim spent nearly 12 hours on the mountain, in and out of consciousness, while paramedics, RCMP, search and rescue crews from Princeton and Penticton as well as armed forces personnel from CFB Comox staged the operation.

The woman, who is in her early 20s, is a volunteer at Rock Ridge Canyon and was not experienced enough to be hiking in that area, said Rick Bulter, communications manager for the camp.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. Monday and ambulance workers reached the victim on foot at about 6 p.m.  Between 10 p.m. and midnight a Buffalo aircraft from CFB Comox dropped flares to illuminate the mountain and a rope crew from Penticton Search and Rescue handed the victim down the hill on a stretcher in a basket. The mountain was clear of volunteers and rescue personnel about 4:30 a.m. Butler had high praise for the emergency services.

“They did an amazing job … it was so well managed by everyone.”