Hiker rescued from icy trail in the Welsford area on Sunday

·2 min read
A 16-year-old hiker is rescued from close to the summit of Mount Douglas, near Welsford, on Sunday.  (WVFD/Facebook - image credit)
A 16-year-old hiker is rescued from close to the summit of Mount Douglas, near Welsford, on Sunday. (WVFD/Facebook - image credit)

With spring arriving with actual spring-like conditions, many New Brunswickers may be tempted to get out and enjoy the province's hiking trails.

While encouraging people to do just that, the chief of the Welsford Volunteer Fire Department is warning hikers to be careful and be prepared.

Chief David MacCready said "walking conditions are pretty dangerous."

On Sunday, his department spent two hours rescuing a 16-year-old hiker from "out-of-town."

The boy had slipped on the ice just shy of the summit of Mount Douglas and had a "fairly significant head injury" as well as a minor lower body injury.

MacCready said it took about two hours and required the use of the department's "mule" — a rescue basket mounted on an all-terrain wheel.

Rescuers used a device like this one to transport the injured hiker out of the woods on Sunday.
Rescuers used a device like this one to transport the injured hiker out of the woods on Sunday.(WVFD/Facebook)

While the snow has disappeared from many urban areas, "people need to understand that there's still snow and ice in the woods," MacCready said.

By now, he said the snow is well-packed on hiking trails and, combined with the warming temperatures, it has created very icy conditions in some places.

MacCready wants people to be able to enjoy the province's hiking trails, including the popular ones in his area, but he said people should come prepared.

He said it's important that they dress in appropriate hiking attire and use ice cleats. It's also important to hike with a fully charged cellphone and to always let someone know where you're going and what time you're expected to return.

MacCready said that Sunday's rescue was a tricky one because of the icy conditions but not nearly as complicated as last summer's rescue of another injured hiker on the trail system.

Because of the steep terrain involved in that one, it took five hours, two departments and every rope they had available to transport the injured hiker out.

Rescuers had to use ropes and pulleys to get the injured hiker, packed in a basket for transport, across a boulder field and up and down a series of hilly paths.