A Victoria hiker is safe and sound after being plucked from a cliff above Comox Lake.

Comox Valley Search and Rescue members rescued her at around 11:00pm Saturday.  

“She had left the campsite at Comox Lake and hiked the ridge westbound and ended up disoriented and ‘cliffed out’ on some very steep terrain about a kilometre down from the campsite,” Comox Valley SAR manager Paul Berry explained. 

Berry says this is a reminder to avoid hiking alone, if possible, and to always be prepared.

Berry added that search and rescue has a branch called Adventure Smart, that promotes the “three t’s.”

“Proper training, proper trip planning, and always taking the essentials with you,” he said. “Part of that training is really knowing where you are going and knowing the area, and it is important that you don’t hike alone because if something does go wrong, you are better prepared if there’s more than one.”

Berry says it doesn’t take much to find yourself in a wilderness environment, which is why you should always prepare for the worst.

“And if you are unable to return, weather can change quickly, and so taking the essentials with you, something you can communicate with, a light source, something to keep you warm and dry overnight, extra food and water, all those basic essentials are very important.”

SAR members determined the hiker’s location by pinging her phone, and two teams were taken by boat to the shoreline below, while a third travelled along the logging roads above.  

The teams in the boat were able to access the hiker.

“We were able to see the light on her cellphone which was advantageous,” Berry said. 

He added that SAR members got her off the cliff and into a boat in a harness “because it was very steep and quite slippery because of the weather conditions.”

Teams were out of the field and gear stored by 3:30am Sunday morning.

Berry noted that there is no charge for Search and Rescue in B.C. when you call 911.

Comox Valley SAR is approaching 30 tasks for this year. That’s on pace with last year, which was the team’s busiest on record.