Hiker stuck in mud up to his hips for hours on Juan de Fuca trail

Stuck in mud for hours

It’s not unusual for hikers on the Juan de Fuca trail to sink up to their knees in mud, but a recent mud-related call was a first.

Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue was called after a hiker on the trail sank down to his hips in mud and couldn’t get out for a couple of hours.

The hiker was extricated by others on the trail who ­happened to pass by before members were able to respond, said Victoria Clarke, ­co-ordinator and manager for the team.

Clarke said the incident is the first of its kind on the trail to her knowledge.

“It is a really muddy, muddy trail and it’s not unusual to go knee deep in it, but to be ­actually physically stuck where you can’t self rescue, that’s an unusual call,” she said.

Search and rescue members have on occasion sunk to their thighs while carrying ­stretchers on the trail, but they’ve always been able to get out fairly easily, said Clarke, who emphasized that the trail does not have quicksand.

“It’s just really muddy and for some reason, that particular spot is really deep. And this poor fellow managed to find it,” Clarke said.

B.C. Parks said in a statement it’s aware of the March 29 incident about a kilometre east of Chin Beach.

The provincial body and park operator cordoned off the area and built a 130-metre trail reroute to bypass it.

The reroute also bypasses a nearby trail washout to prevent a similar situation occurring there, B.C. Parks said.

Hikers on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail should be prepared for uneven ground and slippery conditions on muddy trails, wooden surfaces, boulders and rocky shorelines, it said.

Hikers can check the B.C. Parks website for updates on park information.

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