Yesterday, North Shore Rescue responded to a medical rescue thought to be somewhere near the peak of Hollyburn Mountain. The call came in for a snowshoer who had fallen a substantial distance while traveling through the area. It was later determined that the group of 4 snowshoers had become disoriented due to poor visibility and a GPS which failed. This innocent error in navigation had resulted in them ending up on a steep traverse above Tony Baker Gully. The subject slipped, and is thought to have gone over three 30+ foot vertical cliffs before he ended up in Tony Baker.
The initial field team, which included an advanced life support paramedic, started in from the Hollyburn area. This team tracked the subject down into steep, heinous terrain where they themselves had to use a vertical rope rappel to descend further in search of the subject. Simultaneously, they were assessing the very real avalanche risk and taking steps to mitigate that risk. When they reached the subject, he was treated for serious injuries, and protected from the elements until further resources arrived from above.
Further man power and resources descended into the area from the Cypress Mountain ski area. These members brought extrication equipment and rope rescue equipment for the 2000 foot ascent back out of the gully. After packaging the subject, the rope teams went to work hauling the subject up. North Shore Rescue members were joined by 12 Lions Bay SAR members on mutual aid to help bolster the manpower for the raise out of Tony Baker. This was a real team effort, and required a lot of skill and dedication. Above all, it required stamina, as this type of rescue is one of the most physically exhausting for rescuers. Deep snow, steep angles, and a lot of weight to carry up hill.
At approximately 3 AM, the subject was transferred to BC Ambulance advanced life support paramedics and transported to hospital. We would like to thank Lions Bay SAR, Cypress Resorts, BC Ambulance, Metro Vancouver and West Vancouver Police for their assistance with this call.