About $10,000 worth of climbing gear was stolen from BC Hydro’s work site below Ladore Dam this past week.
BC Hydro was completing survey work in this area by Lower Campbell Lake, and had set up the climbing gear along the walls of the rock canyon this past Thurs. The area is similar in configuration to Elk Falls Canyon.
During the four hours it took for BC Hydro staff to set up the equipment they saw some people near the site, according to BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson.
The crew left the site in the evening and returned Fri. morning to find about 2000 feet of ropes and related gear stolen.
The equipment weighed about 400 pounds and the area it was taken from was difficult and dangerous to access.
“While BC Hydro is disappointed at this theft of a specialist contractor’s equipment, what’s most troubling is their lack of care for personal safety,” said Watson.
“They not only put themselves at risk by removing equipment off the canyon wall, they did so within a closed off area immediately below an operating hydroelectric dam.”
Watson added that water could have been released through the spillway gates at any time during the theft.
Const. Keeley Deley of the Campbell River RCMP said the culprits would have had to know a little bit about how to use the gear in order to get it off the steep rock wall.
“It would have to be, if not an experienced climber, then at least somebody who knows what they’re doing or somebody who is familiar with this type of equipment,” said Deley.
According to Deley, numerous locked gates and fences weren’t disturbed for vehicle access so it is a possibility the equipment was removed by boat.
Anyone with information on the theft, or who sees climbing equipment for sale in unusual circumstances is asked to contact the Campbell River RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
BC Hydro has increased security at the site until further notice, according to Watson.
The Campbell River RCMP continue to work with BC Hydro in the investigation.