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

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Telkwa’s Ken and Susan Salter win $20 million Lotto prize

The couple plans to stay in the village

Unist-ot’en supporter arrested for denying contractor access to pipeline site

The unidentified 29-year-old woman was later released without being charged

Faculty at Terrace UNBC campus join strike after failed negotiations

Unfair working conditions required job action demonstration, protesters say

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Terrace RCMP investigating suspicious death of a man in Thornhill

Kamloops resident was found unresponsive early Sunday morning, died hours later

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read