A 50-year-old woman is lucky to be alive after taking a 30-metre plunge while snowshoeing on the North Shore.

Officials say she slipped on a patch of ice Sunday afternoon near the top of Hollyburn Mountain, a popular hiking destination in Cypress Provincial Park.

Bruce Moffat with the North Shore Search and Rescue said recent alternating warm and cool weather conditions have created hidden hazards in the area.

"It's turned everything into a giant skating rink with just a little skiff of snow overtop," he said.

A rescue helicopter with a 150-foot line was deployed to airlift the woman to safety. The extent of her injuries is unknown, but Moffat said she may have wounded her ribs.

He added that hikers should be extra cautious until conditions improve, and that "snowshoes with crampons on the bottom will only go so far in protecting you."

North Shore Search and Rescue performs about 90 rescue missions on local mountains annually. They estimate 25 per cent of its rescues result in injury or death.