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

More childcare spaces coming for Kelowna families

The provincial government stated that additional funding will create 68 more spaces in the Okanagan

Rockets grab win over reigning league champs in first game of road trip

Kelowna beat the Prince Albert Raiders 2-1 Friday night, take on Saskatoon Saturday

GoFundMe started for Kelowna family who lost pet, home in Rutland fire

A fire tore through a Rutland four-plex in the morning on Dec. 6

Winter Blues Festival returns to Lake Country

Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band headline the 2020 show on Jan. 25

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan receives $20,000 grant

The organization announced the grant from Revera on Friday

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

WorkSafe BC to investigate explosion at Princeton facility

Explosion at Envirogreen waste reclamation plant occurred Nov. 27

Doors open to Vernon’s first refill store

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Okanagan RCMP not toying around when it comes to impaired drivers

Saturday, Dec. 7 is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

Most Read