A woman suffered multiple injuries after taking a 46-metre drop down a cliff and into a ravine southeast of Canyon Ski Hill late Thursday night.
Crews from Red Deer Emergency Services EMS, Red Deer County technical rescue and emergency management, and Blackfalds RCMP responded to a call that a woman fell off a cliff near Range Road 264A at 10:15 p.m.
Assistant county manager Ric Henderson said the fire-medics did not know the extent of her injuries or how long she had been at the bottom. He said they were worried about hypothermia and other serious injuries, so STARS Air Ambulance was called.
“It’s a very steep cliff,” said Henderson. “There’s a pathway to get down but to try to carry someone back up would be impossible so we had to set up a rope system to send a rescue crew to get her in the basket and bring her back up the cliff.”
Henderson said the crews had to use an elaborate system to bring the woman back up to safety.
“That took about two hours,” said Henderson. “It was a lot of work for someone who was out doing what they were doing.”
Henderson would not speculate on what the woman was doing but he said the area is a popular party spot. A few years ago, crews had to rescue a couple of people off the cliff during a rainstorm.
“People need to stay away from dangerous places,” said Henderson. “It is private property.”
STARS transported the woman to Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.
“She had sustained multiple injuries as a result of her fall,” said STARS spokesperson Cam Heke. “In addition, the patient was very cold at the time of transport.”
The woman is believed to be in her 30s. Her condition is unknown.
David Martel, co-owner of Canyon Ski Hill, said there’s an area just southeast of the upper gate on neighbouring property where people frequently trespass.
“It’s an ongoing problem that we have been trying to work together for years on,” said Martel. “Most of the people that go there are good but we do have some bad apples that spoil it. It’s 24/7 up there in the summer. Trust me, it’s a problem.”
The incident is under investigation.