North Shore Rescue recovers injured hiker from Coliseum Mountain trail
Rescue team says hikers can't rely on cellphones when out in the wilderness
A hiker was rescued from a popular North Shore trail late Sunday afternoon after she slipped and sustained multiple injuries.
The experienced hiker, a woman in her 50s, was on a trail leading to Coliseum Mountain with a friend when she fell about five metres, resulting in a head injury and a broken wrist.
North Shore Rescue said they received the call shortly after 4:30 p.m. PT from someone who had come across the injured hiker.
"It's an accident. They didn't do anything wrong," said North Shore Rescue Search Manager Jeff Yarnold.
"It happens all the time out there ... That's what we're here for."
'You can't rely on your cellphone'
Yarnold said it was difficult to find the woman on the steep, rugged trail. The passer-by who called them had rushed down to Norvan Falls to get cellphone reception.
"That's a challenge we have back there is people travelling just with cellphones for communication," said Yarnold.
"You can't rely on a cellphone back there, you're in the wilderness and there's no cell coverage."
Yarnold recommends personal safety beacons instead, as they allow rescue teams to pinpoint a person's exact location.
He said the rescue team was lucky to have found the hiker before dark, thereby avoiding a more complicated recovery.
"If not, it would have turned this into a lengthy, lengthy ground rescue for her," said Yarnold.
Once the hiker was located, she was taken by helicopter to an ambulance waiting nearby.
Yarnold said it's been a busy holiday weekend for the team; on Saturday four rescue operations kept them busy until midnight.