UPDATED: Squamish climber taken to hospital after falling from Stawamus Chief

Third call in 24 hours for Squamish Search and Rescue

Squamish Search and Rescue say that a local man in his 30s has been taken to hospital for a fractured ankle after taking a fall from the Stawamus Chief.

Initial reports were that this was a hiker, but, as of about 3 p.m. on Aug. 16, SAR president BJ Chute has identified the injured person as an experienced climber.

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Amidst mounting public criticism about adventurers needing rescue, Chute said it was important to emphasize these recreationalists were not unprepared.

Chute said the climber and his party were experienced in the backcountry.

“The thing that needs to be highlighted is that they were prepared and they were prepared for self-rescue,” he said.

The man who fell was lead climbing on the Stawamus Chief, took a fall and slammed into the wall, causing the ankle fracture, he said.

The climber and his party were able to lower themselves to the ground where crews could more easily reach them.

This wasn’t the only case that Squamish Search and Rescue has had to take recently.

In the last 24 hours, in a separate incident, an experienced local female climber took a fall on the Tantalus area. She also injured her ankle, Chute said.

“With the assistance of her party, [she] was able to — with a broken ankle — climb to a safe spot that was a good spot for us to fly in and extricate her,” he said.

Then, around dinner time on Aug. 15, a hiker’s medical condition was triggered while on one of the peaks of the Stawamus Chief. 

In this case as well, Squamish Search and Rescue was mobilized and help bring the person to hospital.

Chute said that all of these recreationalists were sufficiently prepared to handle the backcountry and either they or their parties were able to self-rescue to at least some extent.

He re-stressed that even though Squamish’s backcountry terrain may seem easy to access, adventurers should be ready to wait for long periods of time before rescuers can arrive.

They should also be prepared for some measure of self-rescue, Chute added.

In these cases, the recreationalists were capable of those things, he said.

The Aug. 16 climber’s rescue from the Stawamus Chief marks the 14th time Squamish Search and Rescue has been called since the start of this month.

“Lots of people who are out there are prepared, and accidents can happen any time to anybody — and that’s what search and rescue is here for,” Chute said.

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