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Injured hiker air lifted off Penticton mountainside

Click to play video: 'Injured hiker rescued in Penticton after spending chilly night clinging tree' Injured hiker rescued in Penticton after spending chilly night clinging tree
Witness video shows Penticton Search and Rescue members performing a long-line rescue operation to extract an injured hiker from the canyon on Sunday afternoon. – Jan 20, 2020

Penticton search and rescue saved an injured young woman from a hiking trail on Sunday with the assistance of a helicopter.

Search manager Randy Brown said rescuers got a call from B.C.’s emergency coordination centre on Nov. 22, just before 2 p.m. after a 21-year-old woman hurt her leg on a hike in the Upper Wiltse Flats area east of Penticton, B.C.

She was with a friend, who contacted 911.

Read more: New canine members with Okanagan search and rescue crews expected to save lives

“I think they were both hiking fairly high. They were trying to get to the summit of the one hill. I think she just slipped, not too sure exactly what caused it, but we do know that she had a leg injury and wasn’t able to descend down the hill,” Brown said.

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In a race against the clock before nightfall, rescuers enlisted the help of a helicopter to airlift and transport the injured hiker to Penticton Regional Hospital.

She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Rescue operation in Penticton on Sunday. Courtesy: Mike Biden

Brown urged backcountry enthusiasts to be prepared for the elements, even if they plan to go on a short hike.

Read more: Busy long weekend for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

“Sometimes they’re wearing inappropriate footwear. And when they’re going into areas, especially right now where we’ve got different elevations with snow and ice, it can be a little treacherous at times, even if you are prepared with the proper footwear, it gets slippery,” he said.

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“In this particular case, it was good that the young girl had a cell phone it was early enough in the in the mid-afternoon for us to do the rescue,” Brown added.

He said heightened restrictions on social gatherings and travel is resulting in more people enjoying the outdoors.

He encourages people to download trail apps like Trail Forks, which can pinpoint your location in the event of an emergency.

An injured hiker waits to be airlifted in Penticton. Courtesy: Mike Biden

“In this particular area, Penticton, our call volumes generally would drop off. We haven’t seen that whatsoever,” Brown said.

Read more: Hiker lost south of Kelowna since Saturday found by search and rescue crews

“We’ve seen a sustained number of calls this year and when we finish the year, it will no doubt be our busiest year.”

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