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A major and complicated rescue on BC’s southcoast ended successfully over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Squamish Search and Rescue team was called out at about 7:30 am to rescue a base jumper from the Grand Wall of the Stawamus Chief.
The Chief is a massive granite dome that overlooks the town of Squamish and is a popular spot for activities like hiking, rock climbing, camping in the nearby provincial park and, yes, base jumping.
According to the SAR team, the man was located in a tricky spot that could not be reached by a helicopter and the long line team.
More than a dozen SAR members were flown to the top of the popular hiking spot to set up a rope system that could lower one person down to the stranded base jumper.
The Squamish SAR team says the technician was lowered 250 metres down the face of the steep cliff to reach the subject.
Fortunately, the man was uninjured and stayed in contact with the SAR team the entire time.
Once the technician reached him, they were lowered another 100 metres to safety.
Although the man was uninjured, several base jumpers reportedly made the risky decision to jump the cliff while the SAR helicopter was flying in the area and monitoring the rescue.
“If you see a helicopter rescue underway and are about to take flight off the Chief, please consider the fact that you could be putting your life and our own team members' lives at risk,” says a statement from the Squamish SAR team.
“As incredibly skilled as our pilots are, they may not always be able to see you and the results could be catastrophic.”