This afternoon at 14:05 NSR received a tasking for a medical rescue from BC Ambulance. A male snowshoer had fallen and sustained a leg injury while hiking near the peak of Hollyburn. Luckily there were two BC Parks rangers, who work closely with NSR, in the area who responded to the scene. The rangers along with Cypress Nordic Ski Patrol assessed the patient and splinted the injury.

Concurrently NSR had a team ALS paramedic respond to the Nordic area of Cypress and launched a medical flight team to the Hollyburn Peak via Talon Helicopters. Upon arriving at the peak, assessing the scene and finding a suitable landing zone, the subject was assisted to the aircraft by rescuers and flown to a waiting ambulance for transport to hospital.

Fast response and great teamwork. Thanks to BC Parks and Cypress Nordic Patrol!

Question/Answer From Facebook:

Lisa Yuen How did he fall? I thought snowshoeing was relatively safe?? Anything I should know before I head out for the first time?

North Shore Rescue @Lisa this was a simple trip and twist of the likes that could happen on the street with slippery conditions. Some things to help reduce chances of injury on marked trails would be:

  • good footwear with ankle support
  • ski poles for support
  • avoid side hilling in snowshoes (this is when you walk perpendicular to the slope. It drastically reduces traction as compared to going straight uphill)
  • make sure you have good snowshoes with a decent crampon (the metal spikes) and/or microspikes (a slip on foot crampon made by Hillsound Equipment) for icy conditions and Hills.

The best thing to do is get good gear and take your time both on the way up and way down. It’s a great idea to go to a local outdoor shop like Mountain Equipment Co-op and ask for advice. Staff are knowledgable about the products and their use.

This hiker had an unlucky step but was generally well prepared. In these situations, good preparation including carrying the 10 essentials, checking avalanche conditions, telling someone where you are going, and calling for help early, make it safer for you and easier for us to come help.