Crews use dish soap, chip away at rock to free climber who got knee stuck between rocks on B.C. cliff

A lengthy rescue has wrapped up in Squamish, B.C., after a climber got stuck between rocks Thursday night.

Rescue crews were called to the Calculus Crack area of the Stawamus Chief at about 7:30 p.m. The climber had gotten his right knee stuck in the rock and it had swollen to the point where he was unable to get it out by himself.

Squamish Search and Rescue manager Tyler Duncan told CTV News Vancouver a rescue team was flown in before it got dark Thursday night and lowered down to the climber using a rope-rescue system. About 20 people were involved in launching the rescue and five were sent to the climber directly.

Duncan said the 40-year-old climber was "relatively experienced and prepared," adding that he "just got himself in a bit of a bad spot."

Because of the style of climbing used in the area, Duncan said slipping is a "reasonable thing to happen." In fact, Duncan said someone got stuck in nearly the exact same spot last year, so crews have a process in place in these situations.

"We actually have a very highly technical piece of equipment we use called dish soap," he said.

"We squirt a bunch of dish soap in there, we lube up the knee or the arm or whatever's stuck in there and see if that will help."

Duncan said quite often people caught in those situations can't "stomach the pain" to pull their limb hard enough to get it out on their own.

"Someone pulling it for them will push them past that point," he said.

If dish soap doesn't do the trick, Duncan said rescue crews have to start chipping away at rock, which was what was needed in this case.

By about 1:30 a.m., the climber was off the mountain and transported to hospital in stable condition.