Snowshoer cheats death after harrowing fall
A 50-year-old snowshoer was seriously injured Sunday after falling from the peak of Hollyburn Mountain.
Rescuers were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Jan. 30 after reports that a woman had slipped on a steep icy slope and plunged down the mountainside.
North Shore Rescue search manager Tim Jones said the woman fell roughly 30 metres, coming to a stop after hitting a tree.
The impact left her with serious head and chest injuries, but likely saved her life.
"She's very lucky," Jones told The Outlook. "If she hadn't hit that tree she could have fallen much further. Based on past experiences, these falls are almost always fatal."
The woman was airlifted by helicopter longline to the Cypress Bowl parking area, where an ambulance was waiting. She was then rushed to Lions Gate hospital.
Jones said the incident highlights dangers that are prevalent this time of year.
Fluctuating temperatures have created patches of black ice on some slopes that are nearly impossible to grip onto.
Heavy rains, added Jones, have also created sinkhole in gully areas of the North Shore mountains.
"These sinkholes are very dangerous," Jones said. "A person could fall through one and basically disappear."
Jones said anyone snowshoeing near such slopes should have solid mountaineering boots, crampons, an ice axe and a fair amount of snowshoeing experience.
"This is something we've been warning people a lot about lately," he said.