Elkford, Sparwood, and Fernie Search and Rescue teams all collaborated on Thursday in order to rescue a hiker that had become lost in the backcountry in difficult terrain near Elkford.
Elk Valley RCMP contacted Elkford Search and Rescue (SAR) around 2:10 am on Thursday, prompting their initial response while Sparwood SAR got a call around 3:00 am asking to assist.
According to Fernie SAR, the 70-year-old man hiker had become disoriented on the ridge above the Wapiti Ski Hill.
“Sparwood and Elkford members drove partway by UTV then hiked throughout the morning to reach the hiker on the completely fogged in mountain,” said Sparwood SAR.
The members reached the hiker around 10:30 am but were completely fogged in on the mountainside, forced to wait out the conditions. Around 12:45 pm, Fernie SAR came with a helicopter from Ascent Helicopters Ltd. to use the long line and safely extract the hiker to safety.
“(Thursday’s) response was a great example of teamwork between the Elk Valley’s three Search and Rescue groups, with each one bringing unique skills to the table to bring about a positive outcome,” said Sparwood SAR. “These callouts are also a great reminder for anyone travelling in the backcountry to be prepared for an unexpected overnight stay.”
Sparwood SAR said weather conditions and temperatures can change quickly at this time of years, and that it’s extremely important to have a trip plan and to carry the essential equipment.
More backcountry safety tips: BC AdventureSmart