After a nearly six-hour hike to the peak, Shelbee Fulton and Clay Jalava had to walk all the way back down. (Flickr)

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

A young couple who were refused a ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish on Sunday ended up needing to be rescued.

After a nearly six-hour hike to the top of the trail, the couple was refused a gondola ride down and were forced to descend the mountain on foot.

READ MORE: Concerns rise as B.C. search and rescue funding set to expire

On Monday, Shelbee Fulton shared on social media what she calls the “most physically and emotionally exhausting experience.”

Fulton said it usually takes her and her boyfriend, Clay Jalava, four hours to hike the Squamish trail, but because of the winter conditions, it took them nearly six.

“By the time we got to the gondola at the top, I was in tears because I was so sore and exhausted,” Fulton said in a Facebook post.

The pair brought $40 to buy a ticket for a ride down, but were told they had to also pay a $20 fee because they were almost an hour late for the last gondola at 5 p.m.

Fulton says they were directed to the nearest ATM, but it was out of service. The attendant said he would call someone to see if the couple could board the gondola, but later told them they would need to walk back down the mountain.

“I suggested we pay at the bottom, but he said no,” said Fulton. “We were going to have to walk back down the mountain via the service road, a near 11-km walk, downhill, in the snow and ice, and it was about one hour until sundown.”

Jalava tried to explain to the attendant, to no avail.

“I instantly fell to the ground crying,” she said. “Clay comforted me for a few minutes before telling me we had to start walking.”

In a statement, the Sea to Sky Gondola said they are reviewing the situation and their after-hours operation policy.

“We acknowledge that we should have downloaded the two hikers who arrived after we had closed for the day,” said the statement, meaning to give them a ride down. “We are treating this incident seriously.”

The couple called their parents, who reported the incident to the RCMP.

Squamish RCMP said they were contacted around 7 p.m. about two hikers that required assistance and had “no food, no water, and did not have the appropriate clothing.”

Squamish Search and Rescue were contacted and found the pair after they had already walked down much of the trail, falling several times.

“We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down,” Fulton said. “I’m so disappointed and sad that someone could do this to someone else. We’re just kids, and it was obvious that we were in no condition and not prepared to walk another 11k.”



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Burns Lake golfers to help end world hunger

Burns Lake residents will bring together charity and golf at the Grip… Continue reading

Houston area ski club proposes new community forest

Morice Mountain has ‘huge untapped potential’

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read