Chief John Hay says people should think twice about climbing or parasailing off Mount McKay.
Do you want to BREAK YOUR BANK?Banks put holds your cheques. They make you wait in line. Choose a better, quicker option. Visit XTRA CASH!Click here for full list of services
A weekend mountain rescue is the most challenging and dangerous rescue city fire crews have had to perform in fire Chief John Hay's memory.
"I couldn't think of worse conditions to do it in. The only thing that would be worse is if there were more than one victim," he said Monday at the Vickers Street fire hall.
A 24-year-old male attempted to use a speed wing parachute from the top of Mount McKay late Saturday afternoon and became stuck on the side.
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue received the call shortly after 5:30 p.m. and were unable to make a visual sighting with darkness falling.
Fire officials said responding crews faced a lengthy and demanding rescue and did not return to the station until 2 a.m.
Hay said the darkness as well as the snowy and cold conditions are what made the rescue so difficult.
Fire crews get called to one or two rescues on Mount McKay every year and Hay said for that reason, they budget for specialized training.
Without that training, Hay said they would not have been able to accomplish this past weekend's rescue.
"This was an exceptional rescue. This is beyond a fire. This is beyond good work at car accidents," the chief said.
While there is no official word on the victim's condition, Hay said his understanding is the man suffered multiple traumas.
His advice for anyone considering a similar activity on the mountain is to think twice.
"There's not a lot of hang-gliding activity or parasailing activity associated with that mountain. That's for good reason," Hay said, adding it's also not ideal for climbing.
"It's a shale mountain. Experienced climbers stay away from those types of climbs," he said.
Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue had to bring in an extra three or four rescue technicians for the incident and Hay said the City of Thunder Bay doesn't charge for rescues.
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.