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Rescue crews race with setting sun to reach base jumper sliding down Stawamus Chief

Last Updated Nov 22, 2020 at 5:42 pm PDT

(Courtesy: Jon Thorpe, @jonthorpe)
Summary

A base jumper was dangling by his equipment from the steep West side cliff of the Stawamus Chief Saturday

Luckily he was found before sundown

The base jumper sustained minor injuries

SQUAMISH (NEWS 1130) — The Stawamus Chief was the scene of a dramatic rescue before nightfall Saturday.

A base jumper had lost control and ended up stuck, dangling by his equipment on a steep mountainside.

Search and Rescue crews were called out just before 5:00 p.m. to the Chief’s west face, also known as the Grand Wall.

John Willcox with Squamish SAR says the rescue was a race with the setting sun but fortunately, the man had a cellphone, which made it easier to communicate with him.

“He said that he had launched off the top as a base jumper. He had a little difficulty with his lines and it kind of spun him around he came very close and then actually collided with the face of the chief. His canopy collapsed and he slid down the wall. And then finally his chute got hung up on some trees. So he was partly suspended by his chute. And then also, was able to hold on to some roots of some large trees there,” Willcox explains.


And just before dark a helicopter was sent out.

“We had just enough time to put our rope rescue teams on the top of the chief with all their gear. And they set up, and they were able to lower one of our members along a long lower rope three-quarters of the way down the face of the chief, to where he was and secure him in a harness connected to the ropes.”

The base jumper was eventually escorted to the base of the Grand Wall by the SAR team, where another team was able to hike in and meet them.

The base jumper was injured but was able to walk down the mountain after being rescued. He was taken to hospital.

 

– With files from Lisa Steacy