The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of the man who died after a free-climbing incident at Giant’s Head Mountain.
Gael Julian D’Ostie-Racine, aged 23, originally from Montreal, but working in the Okanagan for the summer, was killed on July 14.
D’Ostie-Racine was camping in an orchard at the base of Giant’s Head Mountain, while he worked as a fruit picker. On the evening of July 14, he went free-climbing on the mountain. Other workers from the camp witnessed his fall more than 100 metres down a cliff face. One of the other workers, who has first-aid training, was able to reach him, but he could not be resuscitated.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate this death.
A hiker died in Summerland after suffering an injury while climbing on Giant’s Head Mountain on Thursday evening.
The Summerland RCMP has confirmed that the deceased is a male in his early 20s and is from the province of Quebec.
On Thursday, July 14, at 8:07 pm, the Summerland RCMP responded to a report of a climbing accident near Bland Road in Summerland. A group of migrant agricultural workers who were camped out on an orchard property observed a fellow worker who was attempting to free climb the west face of Giant’s Head Mountain, fall and tumble down a portion of the hill.
RCMP said one of the observers made his way up the face to the resting spot of the male, while others called 911. CPR attempts were carried out by the second male, however, he was unable to provide any successful attempts due to the injuries that male had sustained.
Emergency personnel including the Penticton Search and Rescue Team were immediately activated. PENSAR attended with 22 SAR members which included a technical rope team which was placed at the top of the cliff. SAR lowered their attendants down, over 500 feet, to get to the male on the ledge. He was then lowered to safety and turned over to BCAS. An additional distance of 630 feet was covered descending. The recovery of the deceased was suspended until daylight on Friday morning.
The recovery effort resumed Friday morning, with the Summerland RCMP, Summerland Fire Dept, BCAS, PENSAR and the BC Coroners Services attending the scene. With the assistance of Eclipse Helicopters, the PENSAR HETS (Helicopter External Transportation System) technicians on a
long line, descended the cliff and safely extracted the deceased from the cliff edge by 8:30 a.m.
The Summerland RCMP continues to assist the BC Coroners Services in the investigation of the man’s death.