Hiker, dog rescued from Mount Arrowsmith by Alberni Valley SAR team

Hiker, dog rescued from Mount Arrowsmith by Alberni Valley SAR team
Alberni Valley Rescue Squad/Facebook
The Alberni Valley Rescue Squad, North Shore Rescue and the Night Hoist Team rescued an injured hiker from the Mount Arrowsmith area on April 6, 2024.

Members of the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad were out over two days to rescue a hiker and his dog from Mount Arrowsmith on Vancouver Island.

The AVRS shared on Facebook that its crews received the initial call on April 6 around 8 p.m. for a hiker who was reported to have fallen approximately 10 feet.

“I hiked for about two hours after I was injured to get close to the trailhead, and then I just knew I couldn’t do it,” said Carl Barnes, the hiker who lives in Nanaimo.

Since Barnes had cell reception, his location was pinged, and the AVRS dispatched two medical teams from two different locations.

“The first team was able to locate and reach the subject who was off trail and located between the Climbers trail and Judges route,” AVRS said on Facebook.

“The second team was then redirected to provide standby assistance as needed.”

The North Shore Rescue and the Night Hoist team provided mutual assistance to extract the injured hiker, who was then transported to the Nanaimo airport to be transferred to BC Emergency Health Services.

“While the subject did have food, some emergency supplies and layers they were unfamiliar with the trails and the Mount Arrowsmith area,” the Facebook post said. “Additionally, the subject was feeling pressured to hurry due to the dwindling daylight hours.”

Unfortunately, in the evening rescue, the hiker’s dog had fled before rescue crews arrived, and the team had to make the decision to leave the dog behind.

However, the next day, one of the AVRS members set out to find the dog and was successfully able to find Izzy the dog and bring her home.

“AVRS is so excited to share that one of the members, Rory Ford, who was out last night, went back this morning on his own time to look for Izzy,” AVRS said in a follow-up Facebook post.

“Rory had a visual sighting on the dog a significant distance from where her owner was injured. He managed to coax the dog out and bring the dog back to his truck. Rory has been in contact with Izzy’s owner, and they will soon be reunited!”

“We can’t thank Rory enough for continuing the search for Izzy! Rory not all heroes wear capes! Thank you for your dedication!”

Though this rescue ended up well for both the hiker and the dog, AVRS is reminding hikers that winter conditions are still present in the mountains and that the cold temperatures, especially those overnight, slippery slopes and rocks can make for hazardous conditions.

“When going out into the backcountry, please leave a detailed trip plan, stick to trails within your skill level, research your hikes, pack your layers and 10 essentials,” AVRS said.

Barne says he’s grateful not just for his own rescue but for the extra effort put in by this dedicated searcher to save his best friend.

“Thank you, and I’ll never forget all of you,” said Barnes. “And I hope I don’t see you again,” he said with a laugh.

The Alberni Valley Rescue Squad was on Mount Arrowsmith to rescue two stranded hikers in July 2022.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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