Incredible North Shore mountain rescue caught on video
'It's scary terrain and things can happen there in the blink of an eye'
A climber who was stuck overnight on Crown Mountain with his injured partner captured their morning helicopter rescue on camera.
Serguei Okountsev and his female climbing partner had reached the mountain summit and were on their way back down when his partner fell roughly 45 metres into a gully in the Widowmaker area.
North Shore Rescue was alerted just after dark on Feb.12. A ground team was deployed immediately to hike the estimated five hours to find the pair, according to Jeff Yarnold with NSR.
The ground crew located the climbers and stayed with them until first light when a helicopter could arrive on scene.
The female climber's injuries included a broken ankle, fractured finger, cut face and possible rib fractures.
"If they hadn't been able to get her packaged properly and warm she might not have made it through the night," said Yarnold.
The helicopter arrived around 7 a.m., according to NSR, and the rescue happened in two stages.
Yarnold said two rescuers swung in from the helicopter on long lines to the injured female's location, but he was then dropped off with Okountsev, who had to be relocated for rescue away from his partner because of the terrain.
The female climber and three rescuers were flown out before the helicopter returned for Okountsev and Yarnold.
The rescue was completed by roughly 9 a.m., said Yarnold.
The Hanes Valley area where the pair were climbing is closed to the public in winter.
"It's scary terrain and things can happen there in the blink of an eye," said Yarnold. "It puts other people in jeopardy having to go in there and conduct rescues."
Feb. 12 was the B.C. Family Day holiday.
NSR team leader, Mike Danks said his crews were dispatched to eight rescue calls that day, making it the busiest Family Day for NSR to date.