Injured hiker spends 2 nights on Mount Arrowsmith
More than 120 volunteers helped carry man off steep rugged mountain side
An injured hiker has finally been rescued from Mount Arrowsmith near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, after being stuck on the mountain for two nights.
The man was hiking with his girlfriend and dogs on Saturday afternoon when he slipped and fell and fractured his leg .
Rescue crews were able to reach the man and set up a temporary shelter for him, but because of the bad weather a helicopter rescue was ruled out, according to Captain Sean Morris with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.
"The weather was not cooperating, with the winds and the moisture in the air, it just sort of created a very dangerous situation for the helicopters," said Morris.
So, as the man's family waited anxiously at a command area lower on the mountain, about 120 search and rescue volunteers were called in to carry him out by hand.
Paul Berry, the search manager with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, say the crews took turns bearing the load over the extremely rough terrain.
"It's a narrow trail and much of it is not vertical, but very, very steep, and so tremendously difficult climbing up to the subject, then beginning the long descent down."
Finally about a day and half after first breaking his leg, the man was finally carried off the mountain early Monday morning.
"There was a lot of elation, tears, applause when they finally crested the ridge and appeared at the command area," said Berry.
The man was then airlifted by helicopter to hospital.
Berry says in his 12 years as a search and rescue volunteer, this was the biggest rescue he's seen.
Now after a completely sleepless night, Berry — who works as a school principal — and many of the other volunteers, are off to their day jobs.
With files from the CBC's Rafferty Baker