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

‘How do you fly?’: Surrey plays host to quidditch championship

Harry Potter-inspired event is at Hjorth Road Park

Surrey RCMP doesn’t expect big hit in light of projected $10M cut in B.C. budget

Public safety minister says RCMP informed province about projected budget deficit

Surrey’s Sourdif among A-list ‘Players to Watch’ for NHL Entry Draft in Monteal next June

The right-shot forward has eight goals and nine assists with Vancouver Giants this season

‘It felt good’: Milestone cross-country win for Fleetwood Park’s Jaiveer Tiwana

After winning the boys provincial championship, he’ll compete for a national title on Nov. 30

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

B.C. RCMP investigating stolen boots, credit cards, booze, and beauty products

Langley RCMP investigating property crimes, including credit card fraud in Surrey

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Most Read