Hikers end up in waist deep snow, one airlifted to hospital

Hikers trapped by snow

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue is reminding hikers that this is shoulder season and there’s still a lot of snow at higher elevations.

COSAR had to rescue three hikers and their dogs yesterday in Lake Country, airlifting a woman to hospital.

The woman and two men set out Wednesday afternoon to hike the High Rim trail between Oyama Lake and Beaver Lake Road. Conditions were good when they left, but the trail deteriorated the higher they climbed.

The three ended up in waist deep snow. The woman suffered a medical incident and wasn’t able to continue. The group managed to find an area that had cell phone coverage and called for help.

COSAR dispatched a helicopter to fly in a medical team to stabilize the woman. The Chopper lifted off just as dark was setting in. She was flown to Kelowna International Airport, where an ambulance was waiting to take her to Kelowna General Hospital.

A search and rescue volunteer stayed with the two men, helping to keep them warm while four other team members made their way to the scene by snowmobile. They brought the two other hikers and their dogs to safety, dropping them off at Beaver Lake Lodge around 9:45 p.m.

Search manager Michael Day is reminding hikers that this is the shoulder season.

“While the weather might be great in the valley, snow and winter conditions still persist in the higher elevations. Before you go on a hike make sure you have the 10 essentials recommended by AdventureSmart BC.”

The rescue involved 20 COSAR members including a helicopter medical team and a four member snowmobile team.

Last weekend, Vernon Search and Rescue also used a helicopter to find a group of hikers who were reported missing in the Monashee Mountains near Cherryville. A VSAR member pointed out that the hikers wouldn’t have been able to reach their destination because there was too much snow in the area.

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