Hope Search and Rescue aided in finding a skier near the Coquihalla summit on Monday night. (Contributed)

Hope Search and Rescue aided in finding a skier near the Coquihalla summit on Monday night. (Contributed)

26 SAR members assist in late-night rescue of skier near Coquihalla Summit

Hope, Chilliwack and Central Fraser Valley SAR dispatched

Hope Search and Rescue was part of a large-scale operation to help a lost skier find her way back home after she became disoriented near the Coquihalla Summit.

According to Hope Search and Rescue president Barry Gannon, the search began on Monday night at about 7 p.m. It took 26 SAR workers – from Hope, Central Fraser Valley and Chilliwack Search and Rescue – seven hours to find the skier, who went to Falls Lake and couldn’t find her way back. Some searched the area on skis while others were on snowmobiles.

The lost skier sustained no injuries.

“The team that was made to wait on the trail just before Falls Lake…stumbled across her and brought her out,” Gannon said. “She was okay, just cold and wet.”

Gannon said it’s common for skiers to get disoriented around Falls Lake.

RELATED: Busy weekend for Hope Search and Rescue on local highways

“Mostly what happens is they get turned around on the trail up there,” he added. “Instead of coming back toward Highway 5 in the parking lot, they go left instead of right and they get turned around. They go into the underbrush and get disoriented.”

For those who are going out skiing, they should come prepared with the proper supplies to stay overnight in the back country in the event Search and Rescue is needed.

“She did have a backpack; she would probably have survived overnight, but I don’t think it was enough,” Gannon said. “You’ve got to be able to make yourself a shelter overnight because sometimes we can’t get in to get them.”

Gannon recommends anyone venturing into the bush, skiing or otherwise, to invest in an SOS beacon, an alert device designed to send a distress signal and GPS coordinates to SAR and emergency workers. At the very least, they should go in with a fully charged phone or backup power source so pinging a phone to determine location can be an option; the missing skier’s phone battery was dead. Backpacks taken into the bush during the winter in particular should have supplies to keep outdoor adventurers warm and dry.

RELATED: Hope search crews go on back-to-back call outs in Hope, Sunshine Valley

In the event people find themselves lost, they should stay put, Gannon said.

“We always tell people to stay put, because if they’re on the move, we can’t find them. It’s harder for us to find them if they’re moving.”

Gannon said the skier did the right thing in texting a friend who was familiar with the area where she was going.

“Make sure to do a trip plan,” he recommends. “They should have the trip planned when they’re going in and when they’re expected to come out.”


@adamEditor18
adam.louis@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

HopeSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

The Oliver Municipal Aiport runway will be extended in spring 2021. (Oliver Municipal Airport / Facebook)
Oliver airport runway to be extended

The extension will be funded through a provincial grant

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Ponderosa Primary Care Centre in Penticton is considered a model for care clinics going forward by the South Okanagan Division of Family Practice. (Monique Tamminga)
Mayor of Oliver calls on province to address South Okanagan doctor shortage

‘None of the people in our acquaintance that we’ve come to know here in Oliver have their own doctor’

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Chase RCMP held two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight in their detachment’s cells on Feb. 6. (File Photo)
Chase RCMP hold two men involved in drunken disturbances overnight

The two seperate incidents took place less than an hour apart.

Kamloops Fire Rescue battled a landfill fire which belched toxic smoke into the air on Feb. 27. (City of Kamloops Photo)
Fire at Kamloops landfill sends thick black smoke into the air

Firefighters made slow progress on the fire throughout the morning.

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

(HelloKelowna - Twitter)
West Kelowna billboard bearing anti-vaccine messaging deemed misleading

Ad Standards investigated the billboard, noting a lack of evidence to support the messaging

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland affordable housing proposal opposed

“For a building that will change the dynamic of a small town, I would have expected more discussion.”

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Most Read