Injured paraglider rescued

Working by moonlight, Kaslo Search and Rescue successfully rescued a paraglider who crashed on Meadow Mountain around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Working by moonlight, Kaslo Search and Rescue successfully rescued a paraglider who crashed on Meadow Mountain around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Search manager Bruce Walker says the man was attempting to land on top of the mountain when his wing collapsed and he fell 30 to 40 feet (nine to 12 m).

He was flying with his brother, a BC Ambulance attendant, who had already landed, who assessed him and felt he had possibly fractured his pelvis and/or hip.

Although Walker wasn’t sure if they had a cell phone, it wouldn’t have worked anyway. The brother was forced to hike out and then drive for help.

Search and Rescue received the call around 7:20 p.m. It was another hour before they reached the brother. They parked their vehicles around 9:30 at the 6,000 foot (1,800 m) level, then hiked another hour and 1,500 feet (450 m) to reach the injured glider.

“We were able to get a quad in fairly close to him too, so we could use that to move the stretcher in,” Walker says.

It took 20 minutes to package the man and then they were heading back down the mountain around 10:50, had him to a pickup truck by midnight, and in an ambulance about 1 a.m. Searchers returned to Kaslo about 3.

Walker says the fact the rescue happened at night wasn’t as much of an impediment as it might have been. “It was a very bright moon,” he says. “And all alpine, treeless terrain. It was pretty good going actually.”

The injured man was from New Denver, although Walker wasn’t sure of his age. He was taken to hospital in Kaslo, but Walker didn’t know his condition.

Nine members of Kaslo Search and Rescue were involved, assisted by two guides from Selkirk Wilderness Skiing, in whose tenure the accident occurred.

“Having the guides there was a huge asset,” Walker says.

The mountain is accessed off of Highway 31 at Meadow Creek, on the road that leads to the spawning channel.