A 42-year-old Nanaimo woman is in serious condition in a Victoria hospital after falling from Augerpoint Mountain – one of two rescues for Comox Valley Search and Rescue over the Canada Day long weekend.
Paul Berry, information officer/SAR manager, said three different helicopters were involved during the Saturday rescue, where the hiker fell down a slope “about 30 metres vertically and 80 metres laterally.”
“She was non-responsive but breathing. She was wearing a helmet but suffered head injuries and multiple fractures.”
CVSAR received the page from Comox Valley RCMP around 10:30 a.m., and were on scene about an hour later.
The initial team landed close to the injured hiker, and the second team arrived with a basket stretcher. Campbell River SAR arrived to conduct a long-line rescue, added Berry.
The hiker was transferred into CVSAR’s helicopter and flown to the Courtenay Airpark, where she was transferred, via ambulance, to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox. From there, the patient was airlifted to Victoria.
She was hiking with at least one partner and they were “highly prepared and highly experienced.”
Despite that, the incident showed that a spur-of-the-moment slip can create an emergency.
“They had both a spot emergency beacon and an inReach (GPS communication device with two-way texting ability) which could transmit the longitude and latitude and emergency info,” said Berry.
Augerpoint Mountain is within Strathcona Provincial Park, west of Castlecrag Mountain, with the Comox Glacier to the east.
Berry noted it is a fairly accessible and popular area.
He said as of Sunday night, the hiker was in ICU in serious condition. There were no further updates to her condition by press time.
Earlier in the weekend – Friday evening – CVSAR responded to a call of an injured mountain biker in Cumberland.
The team aided in evacuating the female cyclist who had taken “a pretty significant fall off a bridge to a creek bed below,” he noted.
The cyclist received a compound fracture and was transported to hospital in Comox.