Today North Shore Rescue was tasked by BC Ambulance to respond to Mount Seymour for an injured hiker. The hiker was on the trail, headed to Dog Mountain, when he slipped on ice and sustained a serious lower leg injury. Compounding this situation was the fact that the hiker was dressed very lightly with frigid temperatures prevailing.
NSR responded with a two pronged response, deploying members via ground and via air to the scene. The ground team was able to get on-scene fairly quickly with a team emergency physician, extra clothes, and heat vests. Luckily a number of good samaritans assisted in alerting SAR and remained with the subject, making efforts to rewarm him while waiting for rescue.
After a quick assessment, splinting the injury and packaging the patient, SAR crews and a good samaritan used a special portable stretcher (“Combat Stretcher”) to carry the subject approximately 400m to the waiting helicopter. He was then flown to a waiting ambulance at our Bone Creek SAR base where he was further assessed by BC Ambulance Paramedics before being transported to hospital.
While involved in this call, all NSR members utilized micro-spike crampons to access the scene, as it was extremely icy and slippery. We noticed hundreds members of the public out enjoying the beautiful day, which is great! However, the vast majority were woefully underprepared for the conditions (running shoes, shorts, no backpack with any extra clothing). While we love seeing so many people out enjoying the mountains, we ask that members of the public get informed and go out prepared. What does this mean:
- Appropriate Clothing (layering is key – make sure you have clothes to put on if something happens while on the trail)
- Footwear that provides good support (hiking boots)
- Micro-Spikes / Trail Crampons (for traction on icy trails)
- Carry a small backpack with the 10 essentials
- Tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back
- Keep the early sunset in mind when planning your route and adjust appropriately)
And always remember, if something goes wrong, call for help early!