Rescued hiker ‘lucky to be alive’

Hiker gets saved by helicopter

  • Jul. 13, 2011 6:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

A man had to be rescued by helicopter on Saturday after he became stuck on the face of a mountain in Fernie Alpine Resort.

Calen Gahlinger Beaune, 20, who lives in Fernie, set off hiking around Mount Fernie Provincial Park on Saturday afternoon, but became lost and found himself stonewalled 100 metres from the summit in Snake Ridge, between the Cedar and Fish bowls.

He was able to call Fernie Alpine Resort and ask for help from his cell phone. The RCMP and Fernie Search and Rescue were not able to reach the man because of the precarious position he was in and decided to get help from Parks Canada and Alpine helicopters in Banff. A helicopter found Gahlinger at about 7 p.m. and two trained long line specialists used ropes to pull him off the mountain.

“It was impossible for the helicopter to land anywhere near the man in order to pick him up,” said Cpl. D. Erichsen from the Elk Valley RCMP. “A long line rescue crew on standby in Banff National Park had to be called to assist and by the time their services were requested, it was touch and go as to whether there would be enough daylight left in the day to complete the rescue.”

The team used 100 feet of rope to suspend a rescuer below the hovering helicopter. Beaune was secured into a harness and pulled off the mountain face.

He was finally rescued at around 10 p.m. just before darkness.

“It was really something to watch,” said Erichsen. “There was no time to waste and the heroism of the Parks Canada crew, executing this rescue in ever decreasing daylight, can not be overstated. They were simply amazing.”

Erichsen said the man is “lucky to be alive,” and if it hadn’t been for the RCMP’s knowledge of available resources, and the quick response of the rescue team, he probably would not be.

“The Parks Canada Team in Banff was on standby and was the only group that would have been able to respond in time to complete the rescue before daylight was lost.

“If it hadn’t been for them, and the fact that Cpl. Sullivan was aware that they were on standby, Beaune would not have made it off that mountain tonight and, with the position he was in, there is no way he would have been able to stay on the ledge where he was standing. The outcome would have been tragic.”

Fernie Search and Rescue said that after the rescue “the man was in good spirits and unharmed by his ordeal.”

Just Posted

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read