Sasquatch Mountain Resort and provincial officials are planning a way out for those stranded by this weekend’s landslide.
In a statement on the Sasquatch Mountain Resort website, staff said they are working closely with the Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to plan an evacuation lane down Hemlock Valley Rd., which was closed this weekend due to a landslide making the only route in and out of the resort virtually impassible.
An evacuation lane will be open at 12 p.m. on Monday. A MOTI escort vehicle will lead groups down the mountain. The lane will reopen from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. to allow locals and staff time to head back up the mountain with supplies; the route back up the mountain will only be open to local traffic.
“Please be at Hemlock Valley Road by 5 p.m. at the latest,” the resort’s website advised. “If you are not here by this time, there is no guarantee of return as transport needs to occur during daylight.”
Throughout the weekend, TRK helicopters offered shuttle services to Chilliwack Airport for those stranded at the resort for $150 per person; 12 people could travel per run.
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness tweeted his thoughts on air evacuations late Monday night.
“[Hundreds] at Hemlock Valley in my riding had to pay $150 to be evacuated by helicopter this weekend,” he wrote. “According to B.C.’s Evacuation Operational Guide, this is the responsibility of the government and should be repaid.”
Activity to and from the resort came to a stop this weekend as the adverse weather conditions worsened and caused the landslide. The mountain was closed on Friday afternoon due to avalanche risk, high winds and heavy rains.
BC Hydro restored power to the resort and village on Sunday afternoon; until that point, the resort’s lodge had power and the guests were able to utilize the cafeteria for their needs.
Drive BC says there is no detour available and expects an update at 11 a.m. on Monday.
Black Press reporter Katya Slepian contributed to this report.