Two hikers needed to be rescued after getting caught in a difficult situation on a mountain top near Tofino.
Paul Berry, search manager with the Comox Valley SAR, said crews were called just before 2 a.m. Sunday about two people who were stuck on a snowfield on a steep ledge on a mountain called Triple Peak.
Berry said one of the individuals had slipped far down the embankment, putting them in a precarious situation.
The duo, not being prepared for the situation they were in according to Berry, spent the night on the mountain peak.
The North Island Hoist Team — a team made of members from Campbell River and Comox Valley SARs — was able to reach the duo just after 6 a.m. However, the helicopter didn’t have a safe place to land and had to hoist them out. The helicopter took them a short distance down to their campsite at a nearby lake below the peak.
“In the end, they made the right decision which was to stay right where they were,” said Berry. “There were no injuries and hopefully they’re wiser for their experience.”
Berry says people wanting to head out into conditions like those need to be prepared for the scenario. While the duo had an array of climbing gear, they did not have ice picks or crampons, which are necessary for those situations, according to Berry.
“All mountains you need to be well prepared to travel with the conditions in mind,” said Berry. “In this case, they weren’t prepared to be travelling with the significant amount of snow that is still in the alpine on the Island.”
For those heading out into Strathcona Park and other areas on the Island, Berry recommends people carry a “Spot” — a GPS device that allows users to connect with SAR and message their situations — as many places don’t have cell coverage.
Berry says that Comox Valley SAR has become busier over the last year and while he feels people getting outdoors is a good thing, he would like people to be prepared and stay safe.