A stranded hiker has been rescued from Grouse Mountain this morning and North Shore Rescue says he’s lucky to be alive.
Jeff Yarnold says the hiker – from Korea – had already fallen off a small cliff when he phoned police with his cell last night.
“(He was) covered head to toe with scratches, and scared. I mean he was out of his element … he was not a very happy guy last night.”
The chopper was unable to get to him until daybreak so two rescue volunteers had to spend the night with him until all three were airlifted out.
“It took hours for our guys last night just to find him. And then to try bringing him out through that terrain at night is ridiculous. It was a 250 foot long line required to get these guys out of the canyon they were in. We were lucky it turned out the way it did for this guy because it could easily go the other way.”
Yarnold says the hiker didn’t take any provisions with him on his adventure.
Crews flooded with multiple calls per day
Meanwhile, North Shore Rescue says they’ve had a record number of calls this year and are having trouble keeping up.
They have already fielded about 120 calls this year, a full quarter more than on average.
Doug Pope says late night or multi-day calls are wearing on the team, many of whom have families and work day jobs.
“It is very taxing when we get these many calls. We’re not getting as many people as we’d like out to calls now because they’re just so tired.”
“A normal year for us is around 80 to 90 calls. So we’re already well past what we’d do for a normal year, and this is going to be a record year for us as far as call volume goes for us.”
Pope says the calls are also chewing through limited resources.
The team is reliant on grants and donations.
But he says he doesn’t want people to stay out of the back country .
He wants people to be prepared so they can avoid meeting his team on a trail by moonlight.
Pope says the team received a record 28 calls in August, followed by another 21 this month.