A woman from the Lower Mainland was a capable hiker with good gear, but may not have known the area enough, suggested Arrowsmith Search and Rescue search manager Gordon Yelland.
“She had amazingly good gear, she was in good shape, she hikes on the Mainland, she just didn’t have the right maps and enough detail for this area,” he said of a rescue call they received at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.
Luckily she had a fully charged cell phone and she called for help early, he said, pointing out it is a common mistake for people to wait, not wanting to bother emergency services, thinking they can find their own way out.
“She realized she was a bit lost, or overextended and called,” he said. He was able to talk to the lone hiker, somewhere on the Wesley Ridge Traverse above Cameron Lake. The weather was clear and beautiful but cold.
They were able to pinpoint her location from her cell phone and a special search and rescue app and quickly determined that it would take two to three hours just to get to her over land, by which time it would be dark, so they called in a helicopter which picked up two ASAR members and was able to land within a few hundred meters of her.
The woman was back at the ASAR hall in Coombs in no time and was driven back to her car with no injuries.
About 20 ASAR volunteers responded in all and were stood down by 4 p.m.
“She did most things right, including having a cell phone and calling right away,” said ASAR spokesperson Barry Blair, who suggested the main lesson was to ensure you have and understand accurate maps.