Two weekend rescues in Coquihalla backcountry

Challenging weather for Hope Search and Rescue

Hope Search and Rescue had two calls in the backcountry near the Coquihalla Summit this weekend.

Saturday a lost skier was rescued near Zoa Peak and Sunday an injured snowshoer was brought down from near Flat Iron Needle Peak; search and rescue manager Mario Levesque said weather made both rescues more challenging than usual.

Crews used snowmobiles to locate the stranded skier Saturday. Due to challenging terrain around Zoa Peak they then had to make their way on foot to where the skier had built a shelter.

“They had to come up and down in ravines and in between trees, lots of brushes and stuff. Slow going,” Levesque said.

At 8:00 p.m. Hope Search and Rescue said they could hear the skier and the skier texted stating he could see a searchlight. Seven minutes later, the skier was found.

Sunday searchers were called by the RCMP to an area near Flat Iron Peak along Highway 5, where an injured snowshoer was located.

The team set out around 1 p.m. By the time the individual was located, the weather was worsening and the team had to carry the snowshoer down instead of using a helicopter.

“The weather was not co-operating,” Levesque said. Six search and rescue members bundled up the snowshoer and brought them down, all the while dealing with 10 to 12 centimetres of snow within three hours.

For backcountry enthusiasts, Levesque said it is crucial to check the weather and the avalanche rating. He said they also need to take a pack with water, food, a compass, flashlight with spare batteries, cell phone and a whistle.

A cell phone can be a great locating tool, as long as those going out keep their phone well charged and are within an area which has coverage.

 

Hope Search and Rescue’s new six-passenger utility task vehicle (UTV) can go over snow in the winter and rough terrain in the summers. It has been used in several rescues this winter. (HSAR photo)

Just Posted

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

Chilliwack parent urges fellow dog owners to keep Fido off school grounds

Risks of harmful encounters between kids on and dogs are too high, says Chilliwack mom

Coquihalla closed southbound near Hope

DriveBC suggests detouring via Highway 1

It’s a snow day for the Fraser Cascade school district

School District 78 has closed all schools and stopped all bus routes for the day

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Police track armed kidnapping across Thompson-Okanagan

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

St. Paul’s Hospital replacement slated to open in Vancouver in 2026

Announced many times, but this time there’s money, Adrian Dix says

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Abbotsford’s Matsqui prison beefing up security against contraband

Correctional service says officials found a number of unauthorized items during ‘exceptional search’

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Most Read