A rescue operation stalled traffic along the Sea-to-Sky Highway Sunday morning after a hiker fell 9 metres onto a ledge while scaling a rockface in the Cheakamus Canyon north of Squamish.

Search and Rescue officials say the man, in his mid-40s, was on a rope being guided by his partner from the ground when he fell around 10:30 a.m. PT. They estimated he fell about 30 feet or 9 metres.

Sea to Sky hiker

This is the access point to the trail where the hiker fell, a 45-minute walk from the Conroy Forestry Road (Belle Puri/Twitter)

The accident happened about a 45-minute hike from the Conroy Forestry Road. 

Squamish Search and Rescue, assisted by about 20 volunteers and two helicopters took nearly two hours to complete the rescue.

The hiker was airlifted to hospital in serious condition.

MAP: Cheakamus Canyon