A man is lucky to be alive after falling 200 metres on Crown Mountain Sunday.
The victim, a well-equipped and experienced climber, was descending a snowfield on the peak with three companions around 2: 30 p.m. when he apparently lost his footing, and tumbled down the precipitous incline to a creek, according to North Shore Rescue search manager Douglas Pope.
"One of the climbers slipped on the slope and had a severe fall - about 200 metres - down the snow gully.
"He severely injured his leg by breaking both his femur and both bones in his lower leg," he said.
Rescuing the 40-year-old Lower Mainland resident proved very difficult as bad weather almost prevented volunteers from reaching him by helicopter.
"We got about a 10-minute window where the clouds lifted a little bit, and we were able to long-line the injured subject out and off the mountain," said Pope.
Once transferred to a B.C. Ambulance chopper, the hiker was taken to Vancouver General Hospital.
"We were lucky to get a 10-minute break in the weather or things would have gotten a lot more serious," said Pope.
"We were looking at a significant rescue that would have involved over 50 people and likely a 24-hour duration to extricate this person.
The outcome might not have been so good."
Kudos are owed to the Talon Helicopters pilot who flew the chopper in such difficult conditions, as well as the volunteers and emergency workers who assisted, Pope said.
"We had really good co-operation. It was a very involved rescue," he said.