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Squamish Search and Rescue record first call of spring break season

Crews winched out an injured hiker with a helicopter and flew her to paramedics.
As Vancouver-area schools start their vacations, Squamish Search and Rescue made their first rescue of the spring break season on March 16. The rescue is the first since February. It's a good sign, considering that a recent combination of good weather and spare time has once more brought crowds to the Sea to Sky.

Rescue manager B.J. Chute said crews came to the aid of a hiker who slipped and injured her leg in Murrin Park.

"We were requested by BC Ambulance around 12:30 p.m. to assist with a female who had slipped on a rock and had a possible leg injury," said Chute.

"Given the location and where she was, the easiest extraction route was going to be with the winch system, and [a helicopter trip] back to Squamish Airport where she was turned over to BC Ambulance paramedics for further care."

A ground team was sent out and readied her for a helicopter extraction.

An air team then winched her up and flew her to paramedics. She was taken to hospital.

Chute said the team has taken 15 calls so far this year.

"We're on track for our usual year," he said.

The last call rescuers took was on March 12, where an SOS was activated near Opal Cone, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

Earlier, there were also some calls for a parachute on the Stawamus Chief, but those were false alarms, as it was for a chute that was left over from a previous rescue some time ago.

Crews will be taking it down later in the spring.

There was also a false alarm for a wingsuit diving into the log-sort.

Chute said it was likely someone on the highway who assumed a BASE jumper was crashing, but rescuers found nothing at the scene.

Chute said it's important people not let their guard down while the weather is nice.

"It's still winter in the mountains. It might be sunny and 10 or 12 degrees in Squamish, but quite quickly, it becomes winter in the mountains," he said.

The three T's of trip planning, training and taking essential equipment, including avalanche gear, remain essential, Chute said.