A paraglider stranded overnight after he crashed on Mount Cheam in the Chilliwack area was rescued Sunday morning.
Several experienced paragliders decided against a jump off Chilliwack's Mount Cheam Saturday amid significant cloud cover. That same day a 25-year-old paraglider jumped, hit the mountainside, was stranded overnight and rescued Sunday morning by a military helicopter.
The man suffered a compound fracture, possibly on his leg, and was extracted by the Rescue 904 Cormorant helicopter crew from Canadian Armed Forces base in Comox and flown to Abbotsford, and then a hospital in Metro Vancouver.
Abbotsford resident Jason Warner, who reviews accidents from across the country for the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada, said he had heard some "really good pilots" had decided not to jump.
"I heard a bunch of people stood down on it," Warner said. "It's just that it was overcast, Mount Cheam was in the clouds."
Warner said the Cheam drop-off point is accessible with a four-byfour vehicle and then by a two-hour hike. Clouds can sweep over the mountain rapidly, he said.
The crew used a high-line to get down to the high and challenging terrain, said air-coordinator Capt. Justin Olsen at the Joint Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria.
It took about one hour for two air rescue technicians to stabilize and hoist the paraglider, said Olsen. "That alone tells me his injuries are serious," he said.
The victim's name and condition are unknown.
Paragliders use a parachute-like fabric wing, unlike the rigid structure used by a hang-glider. They sit in a harness below the fabric wing and travel in flights that normally last one to two hours and cover tens of kilometers.