A 38 year old Vancouver area lone male hiker started off (first time) on what he thought was a long day hike from Lynn Headwaters to Grouse Mtn. This trail is call the Hanes Valley Loop.
He was unprepared for winter conditions or winter travel which still have NSR in full winter operation mode. Once the subject was able to cross the high waters of Lynn Creek he started to founder and post hole in heavy wet snow while heading up Hanes Valley. Realizing his situation he stopped at the Hanes Emergency Helipad and was able to start a fire . In this area no cel reception is available. The subject was reported overdue by his brother at approximately 1030 pm and NSR was contacted shortly afterwards. NSR working with the RCMP AIR 1 helicopter gave them coordinates based on subject profile given by his brother.
Shortly after midnight the RCMP AIR 1 aircrew picked up a fire and flashlight of the subject at the Hanes Helipad. RCMP Air 1 using night vison and FLIR was able to get low down to the subject and through their loudhailer confirm subject ID, ascertain he was okay and to tell him to stay put as rescue would be coming at daylight. NSR SAR MGRs Doug Pope , Bruce Moffat and Tim Jones conferred with North Van RCMP. Based on daylight operations starting at 0600 am, the time and risk management to put field teams into steep mountainous terrain at night and that the subject was safe, it was decided to have a field team flown in at first light via Talon Helicopters. At first light the rescue operation took place and the field team found the subject in the treeline away for the helipad and brought him back out to safety.
A sincere message to everyone – it is still full winter conditions in the back country. You need the proper winter equipment, and skills to match in order to travel in the backcountry and this will remain in effect for quite some time. Alss do not travel alone and always leave a trip plan.
Submitted by: Tim Jones
Photos from the rescue can be found on our flickr page – http://www.flickr.com/photos/northshorerescue/sets/72157629895103305/
And helmet cam footage – http://vimeo.com/40818369