Women rescued from snowshoe trail in north Cape Breton

Two women had to be rescued while snowshoeing near Ingonish Ferry, NS on Sunday (Brittany Wentzell/CBC - photo credit)

Two women had to be rescued while snowshoeing near Ingonish Ferry, NS on Sunday (Brittany Wentzell/CBC – photo credit)

Two women were rescued from a snowshoe trail in north Cape Breton over the weekend after their winter adventure went awry.

The couple were out on a snowshoe trail in Ingonish Ferry around 4pm when one of them, a 60-year-old, was injured and called 911.

Matty Lisowski, a mountain rescuer working at Ski Cape Smokey, was on his way when he heard about the incident.

Lisowski and two friends then hiked into the woods to find the women and help first responders locate their location about two miles from the trail’s entrance.

“For me, they were well prepared,” Lisowski said in an interview with Maritime Noon by CBC Nova Scotia.

Deep snow on the trail

“They had very good snowshoes, very good warm clothes. And yes, they were well prepared for this trip, but no one is willing to stay in the forest for a few hours at -12 at night.”

Lisowski said the women, who were not from Cape Breton, were in a wooded area near the top of the mountain. One woman had a back injury while the other woman, a 71-year-old, was pacing to keep warm. The rescuers lit a fire and shared warm clothes with the women.

Freezing temperatures

“It was extremely important, also for us because we were frozen to death out there,” said Lisowski.

Officials from the Victoria County Department, along with local fire and emergency services, were called to the snowshoe trail near Ski Cape Smokey, according to the RCMP.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Marshall said officers tried to drive snowmobiles along the trail but got stuck in heavy fresh snow.

“It’s designed for snowshoeing, so we could go a certain distance, then it narrows quite a bit and we couldn’t go through,” Marshall said.

With the help of a community member, RCMP was able to reach the women using a snowmobile with longer tracks. The women were then transported to the top of the ski hill, where paramedics and firefighters waited to transport them down the hill in a gondola. They were later taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

RCMP said people setting out on the Nova Scotia Trail should tell someone their plans or not travel alone. Marshall said people traveling to areas with limited cellular coverage may also want to buy a satellite phone.



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