One hiker is dead and two others injured after they each fell from steep mountainside routes above B.C.’s Squamish Valley in separate incidents over the weekend, according to officials.
On Friday, a woman was hiking with her hiking partner up the Sigurd Trail, north of Squamish, when she fell into Crooked Falls around 11:30 a.m. PT.
RCMP said search and rescue crews found the woman “in the waterfall, clinging to a log.”
Squamish Search and Rescue crews said the log saved the woman from falling most of the way down the rushing falls.
“She fell about 40, 45 metres,” Squamish Search and Rescue Manager Tyler Duncan. “Under all other circumstances, without that log there, she would have been dead, for sure.”
Crews were able to pick the woman, 25, off the waterfall. An air ambulance flew her to hospital in the Lower Mainland with serious injuries. RCMP said she is from Surrey, B.C.
Climber falls 40 metres
Also on Friday, Duncan said crews responded to a fall from a mountain in the Tantalus Range north of Squamish. A well prepared, skilled mountaineer was rappelling down the mountain Friday when a rock came loose in his hand.
Miraculously, Duncan said, the climber also survived.
“He had a tumbling, sliding fall down the mountain for, again, about 40 metres. Incredibly, he walked away with … relatively minor hairline fracture to his leg. That was pretty incredible — we were all pretty shocked,” Duncan said.
“To have a 40-metre fall and survive is probably the luckiest thing he’ll ever have in his life.”
Fatal fall on Sigurd Peak
In a separate incident, a hiker fell down a rock field and cliff face on Sigurd Peak, off the Sigurd Trail loop, on Sunday around 2:20 p.m. PT.
The woman was hiking with a partner on a steep, technical portion of the trail when she slipped and fell “a considerable distance.”
“It was not a survivable fall,” Duncan said.
An RCMP helicopter helped Squamish Search and Rescue find the woman, but she had died of her injuries. RCMP said she was in her early 30s and lived in Vancouver.
The statement said police and rescue crews “worked throughout the day to retrieve her body from tough terrain.”
“It is disheartening to have these serious incidents happen in our area and our thoughts go to the family and friends of the woman who died yesterday and the hopes for a full recovery for the woman in Crooked Falls on Friday,” RCMP Sgt. Sascha Banks wrote in the statement.
“Our Sea to Sky backcountry is not for beginners and even those of intermediate or advanced expertise find that things can go wrong very quickly. The skill level of our local search and rescue team is incredible and the efforts of our members to help find those lost or in trouble is unparalleled,” Banks added.
“All we ask is those who visit to research our landscapes, assess your skill level, have the right equipment, know the risks, and adventure safely.”
The 14-kilometre Sigurd Peak trail is considered difficult, while the rocky Crooked Falls route is said to be intermediate.
RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are conducting a joint investigation into the hiker’s death at Sigurd Peak. Her name is not being released.