Whitehorse firefighters pluck woman from clay cliffs

A woman who slipped and tumbled 30 metres down Whitehorse’s clay cliffs was cold but unharmed when she was rescued by Whitehorse firefighters April 3.

A woman who slipped and tumbled 30 metres down Whitehorse’s clay cliffs was cold but unharmed when she was rescued by Whitehorse firefighters April 3.

The fire department was called to the cliffs around 3:15 p.m., said deputy chief Chris Green. The woman’s name has not been released.

By then, the 27-year-old woman had been stuck on the side of the cliff, bracing herself against a tree branch in the slippery mud, for about 30 minutes.

“She was walking along the edge and she slipped and she went a quarter of the way down.”

Green thinks that noise from the nearby P&M Recycling may have drowned out the woman’s calls for help. He didn’t know who originally called rescuers.

Firefighters knew they didn’t have enough rope to make it to the bottom of the cliff so they decided to bring the woman up instead.

A firefighter repelled down to where the she was stuck. She was put into a harness and pulled up, back to solid ground.

“She was OK. She was just cold from being there for half an hour, and full of mud from top to bottom,” Green said.

When she fell, both of the woman’s shoes came off.

Green credits a bystander in the area with helping to keep the woman calm.

The good samaritan climbed as far as he could up the cliff and kept talking to the woman until she was rescued.

“At one point she thought she was slipping down and the gentleman at the bottom said, ‘look up, just focus on the top, you’re not slipping,’” Green said.

At this time of year, when the weather is starting to warm up, the clay cliffs can be particularly muddy and slippery, Green said.

“I would advise at least stay clear of the edge. Use the Black Street stairs.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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