Crews rescue six people stranded on Sumas Mountain

Search and rescue members called out at about 2 a.m. Tuesday

Search and rescue crews were on Sumas Mountain early Monday morning to help rescue a group of six people.

Six people were stranded on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford for a few hours after a planned afternoon of four-by-fouring in the snow on Monday took a sour turn.

Lee Holeczek, search manager with Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue (CFVSAR), said the incident began with two people in a Jeep who set out at about 2 p.m. and got stuck in the snow on the main logging road before they could reach the top.

They were unable to free themselves, and called some friends at about 6 or 7 p.m. to come rescue them.

That group of four, riding in a pickup truck, also go stuck about 1.5 kilometres from the first pair.

The second group hiked the rest of the way, and met up with the first pair. All six worked at trying to free the Jeep to no avail.

They realized they weren’t prepared to stay the night, and CFVSAR was called out at about 2 a.m.

“They got tired and cold and dehydrated,” Holeczek said.

He said 16 members of CFVSAR and two members from Mission Search and Rescue (MSAR) headed up the mountain, using vehicles equipped with chains on snow tires.

They also used MSAR’s Argo vehicle, a specialized ATV that can easily cut through the snow.

The crews brought the six people safely back down the mountain, leaving their vehicles to be dealt with later in the day.

None of the six, who arrived back at the base at 6 a.m., required medical attention.

Holeczek reminded the public to be prepared for an overnight stay when they participate in outdoor recreational pursuits.

“Most people don’t think anything is going to go wrong,” he said.

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