A young woman is in serious condition after falling an estimated 65 feet from a ledge on Mount Finlayson late Monday afternoon.
Langford Fire Rescue got a call from BC Ambulance shortly before 6 p.m. about a hiker who had fallen from great distance. By 8:15, a team of 16 firefighters as well as paramedics were still in the process of bringing down the woman, said to be in her late teens, and a male companion of around the same age, who had to be rescued from the ledge above her.
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Crews headed up the mountain via the trail near the North Langford Recreation Centre at Bear Mountain.
Fire Chief Chris Aubrey said the department’s technical rescue team wasn’t initially sure where they were on the mountain, but found them relatively quickly. The young woman was wrapped up in a stretcher and brought to the main trail for transport.
“A fall from that height is pretty disconcerting,” he said. “There’s a sense of urgency right now to get her back to the ambulance and get her the medical attention she needs.
“Our primary concern right now is the condition of the patient that fell,” Aubrey added, “but also the light. We’re rapidly losing light, which takes more time for us to get the person off the mountain, but it also makes things more hazardous for everybody up there.”
A call went in to 442 Squadron for a potential long line rescue, but as rescue crews were able to find the hikers fairly quickly, it was ruled out.
“They were on the west side of main trail. It looks like they got disoriented and went off the main trail and got trapped on a ledge,” Aubrey said.
The department’s airborne drone was deployed and provided valuable footage on the conditions back to the command centre, but rescuers were able to find the individuals before they were spotted with the drone’s camera.