Copter plucks hiker from Mount Frosty

The night winch-rescue - performed in inclement weather - saved local GSAR from spending hours cutting through debris on Windy Joe Trail

A Cormormant helicopter team from RCAF 442 Squadron in Comox was called to Manning Park to rescue a hiker in distress.

A local crew led a dramatic mountain rescue in the early hours of Sunday morning at Manning Park.

Princeton Ground Search and Rescue was called at 9:30 pm Saturday night, after a young hiker fell into medical distress on Frosty Mountain approximately 7 km along Windy Joe Trail.

The Royal Canadian Armed Forces 422 squadron – the only team in Canada qualified to perform nighttime helicopter winch rescue – was dispatched from Comox, BC and despite darkness and poor weather conditions lifted the woman to safety.

“We were really lucky they were able to pull it off in the weather,” GSAR manager Randy Rorvik told the Spotlight.  “If they had been unable to do it we would have had to walk in, snow shoe in.”

Before being able to stage a rescue Rorvik followed the protocol of consulting an Avalanche 2 Technique. “If it’s a winter rescue nowadays that’s what’s at the back of my mind when I get a call, avalanche risk.”

Rorvik said a ground rescue would have taken at least six hours “in and out” and been difficult because of the “horrible” conditions of the trails that were snow covered and rendered nearly impassable in places because of downed trees and branches.

The woman, who was hiking with two companions, was reported to be having medical difficulties due to diabetes.

With no cellular phone service available in Manning Park, one of the hikers walked approximately two hours to make the call for help.

“I think they took on a little more than they were expecting,” said Rorvik. “They were prepared for a day trip they were not prepared for an overnight.”

When the diabetic patient was unloaded from the helicopter early Sunday morning she had significantly recovered and declined to be transported to hospital. By that time the weather had deteriorated to the point that the armed forces helicopter could not return to its base.

Seven members of Princeton GSAR were on the scene over night, assisted by more than 20 additional rescue personnel from Oliver-Osoyoos, Penticton, Hope and Manning Park.

Rorvik said they were prepared to reach the hiker using snowmobiles and chainsaws to clear the trail.

The Princeton GSAR responds to approximately eight calls a year and has 22 volunteer members.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Princeton looking for $10,000

Business development officer says study could lead to fewer store vacancies

Meet the new (temporary) Princeton CAO

Interim boss can only stay two months

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Former Princeton CAO just a footnote at Monday’s council meeting

Zerr declines interview, sends letter to council

B.C. wine industry fights for interprovincial trade in Supreme Court

Gerard Comeau likely never thought he would end up in the Supreme… Continue reading

Vehicle with dog inside stolen from Oliver gas station

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday morning

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read